LONDON — Young gay men are 15 times more likely to develop anal cancer due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection than straight men and should get the HPV vaccine, British health officials said this week according to articles in several media outlets including HealthDay News, which cited an article in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections published online Monday.
HPV vaccination in Britain began in 2008 but is limited to women to protect them against cervical cancer. Health authorities also believe that vaccinating women would curb the spread of HPV to men, the article said.
But the lack of HPV vaccination for males greatly increases young gay men’s risk of developing anal cancer. It would be cost effective for Britain’s National Health Service to provide HPV vaccination for young gay men, the sexual health experts wrote.
In the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12, teen boys and girls who did not get it when they were younger, teen girls and young women through age 26, teen boys and young men through age 21 and gay and bi men.