- The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is calling for the human papilloma virus (HPV) to be made available to boys in the UK. Girls are already covered.
- Despite the fact that girls are offered the vaccine, certain males remain at risk for HPV over the long term, including men who have sex with men, men who have sexual contact with the 15% of females who are not vaccinated, and men from countries that do not offer the vaccine as a matter of course.
- In the UK, 80% to 90% of 12- to 13-year-old girls are HPV-vaccinated.
For many public health experts, including the RSPH and the Throat Cancer Foundation, HPV vaccination of boys is an urgent public health issue. The Throat Cancer Foundation has gone as far as calling the policy of only vaccinating girls ‘discriminatory.’
The foundation cites the growing problem of HPV-associated throat cancer. Based on forecasts, the prevalence of throat cancer will outpace cervical cancer by 2020. And then there is the pharmacoeconomic argument: While the average cost of vaccination is roughly $74, according to experts, the cost of treating throat cancer is close to $75,000.