Scotland

Men who have sex with men offered HPV vaccine

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A new HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination programme is now being offered to men who have sex with men.

The vaccine will be offered to men who have sex with men (MSM) up to and including the age of 45 who attend sexual health or HIV clinics.

MSM prisoners aged up to and including 45 will also be eligible to receive the vaccine through prison health services.

HPV is the name for a group of viruses which can lead to genital warts and some forms of cancer.

The introduction of the programme follows a recommendation by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI), the UK's independent, expert panel on vaccination matters.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: "I am delighted to announce the introduction of an HPV vaccination programme for MSM in Scotland from today.

"Its introduction is based on the advice of the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation.

"The JCVI recognises that MSM are a group at high risk of HPV infection and associated disease who receive little indirect health benefit from the existing, highly successful, HPV vaccination programme for girls.

"Introducing a HPV vaccination programme for MSM will help to provide protection against HPV infection which can cause genital warts and HPV-related cancers."

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