FSRH press statement: Government’s decision to vaccinate boys against HPV is a victory for boys’ sexual and reproductive health and rights

Posted 24 July 2018

Date: 24 Jul 2018

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) strongly welcomes the decision, by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), to extend the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme to boys.

Until today, only girls could get the HPV vaccine free from the NHS from the age of 12 up to their 18th birthday. The vaccine will now be offered to boys of the same age, helping to protect them against the risk of developing different types of cancer later in life.

The decision comes after years of concerted efforts by organisations, including FSRH, to make the case for gender-neutral HPV vaccination. The Government’s decision brings the UK in line with practice in countries such as United States, Austria, Canada and Australia.

Dr Asha Kasliwal, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:

“FSRH supports boys’ and men’s right to access high-quality SRH services and live a life free of sexually-transmitted infections such as HPV. I am thrilled to hear that the Government has listened to a community of healthcare professionals and campaigners who have tirelessly made the case for a national vaccination programme that protects men and women equally.

HPV affects not only women, but also men. Cervical cancer does not affect males, but other HPV-related cancers can affect men, such as cancer of the anus, penis, mouth and throat.

HPV Action, a collaborative partnership of 50 patient and professional organisations, including FSRH, estimates that each year in the UK around 2,000 men develop a cancer caused by HPV and over 40,000 develop genital warts.

The Government’s announcement today is a great victory for boys’ sexual and reproductive health and rights, enabling males to be protected during their teenage years and beyond.”

Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 27 Sussex Place, London NW1 4RG. Charity No. 1019969.

Notes to editors:

  • The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.
  • HPV Action: HPV Action (HPVA) is a collaborative partnership of 47 patient and professional organisations, including FSRH, that is working to reduce the health burden of HPV. To achieve this, HPVA delivers an advocacy campaign that aims to achieve gender-neutral HPV vaccination. This means that all boys and girls will be routinely offered vaccination against HPV at the age of 12/13. The vaccination of boys as well as girls is supported not only by the 47 organisations that are part of HPV Action but also by the BMA, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and a wide range of clinicians and academics.

For further information please contact:
Camila Azevedo
FSRH External Affairs & Standards Officer
Email: externalaffairsofficer@fsrh.org
Telephone: 02037945309