HPV vaccine: Do boys get the HPV vaccine too?
NHS recommends cervical screenings for transgender men
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HPV (human papillomavirus) is the name given to a common group of viruses that are linked to the development of cancers such as cervical cancer, anal cancer, genital cancers, and cancers of the head and neck, and high-risk types of HPV are found in more than 99 percent of cervical cancers. While men can get HPV too, it is mostly associated with women because cervical cancer is the most common cancer linked to HPV. Cervical cancer rates have fallen as a result of the HPV jab… but do boys get the HPV vaccine too?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation with a vaccine was introduced in England in 2008, and the programme has been proven to be a total success by a new Cancer Research UK-funded study.
In the 13 years since HPV jabs started, cervical cancer rates in women offered the vaccine between the ages of 12 and 13 (who are now in their 20s) were 87 percent lower than in the unvaccinated population.
The study, which was published on Thursday, November 4, saw a reduction in both pre-cancerous growths and cervical cancer cases in women vaccinated as pre-teens.
Another recent Scottish study found an 89 percent reduction in severe cervical abnormalities in vaccinated women.
So, it is thought that the UK-wide programme will eventually prevent hundreds of deaths from cervical cancer every year.
The jab is currently offered to people aged between 12 and 13 as part of the NHS vaccination programme… but do boys get the HPV vaccine too?
Do boys get the HPV vaccine too?
Both boys and girls are offered the HPV vaccine in their second year of secondary school (year 8) in England.
The jab is split into two doses and the second dose is offered six to 24 months after the first dose.
If you didn’t get the vaccine at school, you can still have it for free on the NHS up until your 25th birthday.
HPV doesn’t just impact women, it can cause anal cancer, cancer of the penis, and some types of head and neck cancer alongside cervical, vulval and vaginal cancer.
It’s easily spread and you can catch HPV from skin-to-skin contact of the genital area, vaginal, anal or oral sex, or even sharing sex toys.
HPV is very common and most people will get some type of HPV in their life, but they probably won’t know it because it is symptomless.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV and around 40 that affect the genitals.
Sometimes HPV causes genital warts, skin warts and verrucas, but other times it is more high risk and causes cancer.
Getting the HPV vaccine means you are protected against nine types of HPV, including the types responsible for more than 95 percent of cervical cancers.
On top of that, two types of HPV it protects you against are responsible for 90 percent of genital warts – which is why boys and girls both benefit directly from the vaccine.
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