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UK May Offer HPV Vaccine to Teenage Boys

Update Date: Sep 23, 2014 05:04 PM EDT

Teenage boys in the UK could soon be offered HPV vaccination that is currently offered to girls to protect against cervical cancers.

According to Yahoo News, a decision regarding the move would soon be taken by a subcommittee of UK's Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunization, which advises the Department of Health. The subcommittee met on September 21 to discuss the matter. The sub-committee is expected to finalize its decision in October and may also include extending vaccination to homosexual men.

HPV vaccine is given voluntarily to girls aged between 12 and 13 in UK to prevent cancers caused by Human Papilloma Virus strains 16 and 18. Cancers caused due to HPV are said to account for five percent of all cancers worldwide including 2,000 cases in UK are penile, anal and a certain type of throat cancer due to HPV infections.

Daily Mail reported that the demand for vaccination in boys was raised by those working to create HPV awareness.

"Men will continue to die from HPV-related diseases unless the government acts to extend the national vaccination programme to all adolescent boys. This would only cost about £20-£22 million a year and, in the long run, save the money spent by the NHS on treatment as well as reducing human suffering. If parents knew that their sons as well as their daughters could be protected from the virus that causes 5 per cent of all cancers, then I'm sure most would also agree," said Peter Baker of HPV Action.org,

HPV is spread through sexual contact and in most instances does not cause an infection as the body's immune system clears the virus within two years. However in rare instances certain strains of the virus can cause malignancies. Vaccination for teenage girls has been around since 2008, with 80 percent of the girls opting for it, Daily Mail reported. 

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