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Gay men should be offered HPV jab, says JCVI

The Government should consider offering gay men aged 16-40 the HPV jab, the advisory committee on vaccination strategies has told ministers.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk of HPV infection because they receive little indirect protection from the highly successful HPV vaccination programme in adolescent girls, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) argues.

The BMA has previously called for such a programme to tackle high incidences of anal warts, anal pre-cancers and cancers.

JCVI committee members are warning that an analysis should be undertaken to find out whether such a programme would be cost effective, however.

GUM and HIV clinics would be the best venue for the vaccinations, using the quadrivalent HPV vaccine, the JCVI said.

Minutes of a JCVI October meeting state: ‘The committee noted that whilst there were a number of uncertainties regarding assumptions made in the model, they agreed with the advice of the HPV subcommittee that a programme to vaccinate men who have sex with men (MSM) aged 16-40 should be considered, provided that the programme could be undertaken at a price (administration and vaccine costs) which was cost effective.’

The JCVI is planning to hold a consultation on the issue.


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