Men who have sex with men (MSM) will be offered immunisations by the Welsh NHS to protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The Welsh government has announced that the vaccine will be offered to all MSM aged between 16 and 45. The government has said that there is evidence that HPV immunisation can provide protection against a wider range of cancers which may be more commonly seen in MSM.
'MSM is a group who receive little indirect protection from the highly successful HPV vaccination programme for adolescent girls,’ said the Welsh health and social services minister Mark Drakeford.'I’m pleased to announce that I have approved the introduction of a new targeted HPV vaccination programme for MSM up to the age of 45.’
In November 2014, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that the vaccine should be given to UK MSM. In 2015, the organisation also said that the vaccine be offered to MSM who are over 45, sex workers and HIV-positive men and women on a case-by-case basis.
‘We will now give careful consideration about how this programme will be delivered and will make a further announcement in due course,’ added Professor Drakeford.