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Introducing the HPV vaccination for boys can stop many preventable cancers.
HPV (human papilloma virus) is very common and almost every sexually-active person gets HPV at some time in their lives. Most people with HPV never develop symptoms or health problems but, for some, infection with HPV can lead to the development of certain cancers (cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, head and neck) as well as genital warts.
About 5% of all cancers are caused by HPV infection.
HPV vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of developing disease and vaccinating both sexes provides the highest level of protection. In the UK currently, only girls are vaccinated through a national programme generally delivered in schools.
In 2013, Australia became the first country to implement a vaccination programme for all boys aged 12/13. An increasing number of countries now recommend vaccinating boys against HPV including, the USA, Austria, Israel, Switzerland and parts of Canada, Germany and Italy. The UK is at risk of being left behind.
Boys should now be included in the UK vaccination programme:
- To protect as many women as possible from cervical cancer
- To protect both men and women from other HPV-related cancers
- To protect both sexes from genital warts
It is unethical to exclude males from a straightforward, risk-free and relatively low-cost health programme that would prevent cancers and improve sexual health.
This petition has been organised by HPV Action, a partnership of 44 patient and professional organisations that all believe both boys and girls should be vaccinated. For more information about HPV Action: www.hpvaction.org Twitter: @HPVAction
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