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HPV vaccine programme for men who have sex with men to start in April

Public Health England (PHE) have confirmed that, from April this year, the HPV vaccination programme will be rolled out nationally to include men who have sex with men.

Men younger than 45 – there will be no lower age limit – who attend a sexual health or HIV clinic will be eligible, after a pilot assessing the feasibility and cost-effectiveness was deemed a success by PHE.

The pilot concluded that a HPV vaccine programme for men who have sex with men could be provided ‘in an acceptable and equitable manner without major disruption to sexual health or HIV clinics’.

Dr Michael Edelstein, consultant epidemiologist at PHE, said: ‘Our evidence shows that men who have sex with men are welcoming an HPV vaccination programme, and it can be delivered successfully through sexual health services.

‘Men who have sex with men are a group who receive little indirect protection from the adolescent girls’ vaccination programme. We expect the new programme to reduce the number of cancers that are directly caused by HPV.’