A victory in the fight against HPV

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) happily welcomes the decision reached by the Department of Health concerning the extension of the HPV vaccine to boys under the national programme. As one of the 47 patient and professional organisations participating in HPV Action, this is a cause that is truly close to our hearts so we are thrilled that the desired conclusion has been reached.

This decision has taken many years to come to fruition, and finally boys will be able to benefit from the same protection that girls have had access to since 2008. This means that the 400,000 boys who have previously gone unvaccinated each year will now have extra protection against some of the malicious effects of HPV, including oral, penile and anal cancers alongside genital warts.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, so extending the vaccine to boys is likely to make a huge difference. High street pharmacies have already started to offer the vaccine to those who are unable to receive the vaccine as part of the national programme, and these measures will ensure that those who need the protection most are able to receive it.

Professionals must remain vigilant for the signs of oral cancer despite these recent measures, as many people will remain unvaccinated. However, this is a fantastic step forward in the fight against HPV and one that should be widely applauded.

Follow the link to read the statement in full: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jcvi-statement-extending-the-hpv-vaccination-programme-conclusions

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