According to a new study, two-thirds of professionals who work in sexual health believe that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination should be given to all men who have sex with men.
Gay and bisexual men suffer higher incidents of anal cancer due to the HPV virus, according to the research, and many healthcare professionals believe the vaccine would dramatically decrease cases.
The study, which was published in the British Journal of Cancershowed that 14% of healthcare professionals already administer the HPV vaccine to gay and bisexual men even though NHS England offers no guidelines to GPs in this area.
However, half of the participants also stated that they lacked the knowledge required to offer the vaccine to gay and bisexual men.
Tom Nadarzynski, who lead the report said: “Our study showed surprising differences in healthcare professionals’ views on vaccinating men against HPV.
“Some already gave the vaccine to men at high risk, while others opposed targeting men who had sex with men.
“We need to provide clear guidelines to healthcare professionals to make sure they receive adequate information and that men at high risk of HPV have equal access to the vaccine.”
Dr Julie Sharp from Cancer Research UK said in a statement “It’s interesting that some healthcare professionals are already vaccinating men at high risk of developing HPV-related cancers, as they aren’t protected by the vaccination programme for girls.”
Back in 2014,The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation declared that they believe the HPV vaccine should be administered at sexual health clinics to men who have sex with men, aged between 16 and 40.
Last month the Department of Health announced it would begin rolling out a HPV vaccination program for men who have sex with men.