BASHH welcomes pilot to inform the extension of the HPV vaccination programme to MSM

26th May 2016

The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) welcomes today’s announcement from Public Health England (PHE) of a new pilot to evaluate the feasibility of extending the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme to men who have sex with men (MSM) in England.

The pilot is scheduled to commence in June 2016 and will see the HPV vaccine made available to MSM during their routine appointments across a number of selected genitourinary medicine (GUM) and HIV clinics to test delivery in these settings.

The announcement of the pilot follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination (JCVI) in November 2015 that a targeted HPV vaccination programme should be delivered for MSM aged up to 45 years, subject to the procurement of the vaccine and delivery of the programme at a cost-effective price.

Commenting on the announcement of the pilot, Dr Elizabeth Carlin, President of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) said:

BASHH are pleased to be actively participating in this new pilot from Public Health England, which represents an important step towards the vaccination of MSM against HPV-related disease in England.

BASHH hopes that the findings from the pilot meet the criteria set out by the JCVI and that the HPV vaccine is then made available to MSM more widely as soon as possible.

This will improve sexual health outcomes for MSM, who have significantly higher rates of HPV-related disease, such as ano-genital cancers, oral cancers and genital warts, and who currently remain the only group that do not receive protection from the existing girls’ HPV vaccination programme.

Ultimately, BASHH also believe that the HPV vaccination programme should be made available to all adolescents, regardless of gender. We will continue to advocate for this intervention as well so that one day eradication of genital warts will become a reality.

Dr Elizabeth Carlin, BASHH President

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