Gay men are being given HPV vaccines

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MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: A bottle of the Human Papillomavirus vaccination is seen at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine on September 21, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The vaccine for human papillomavirus, or HPV, is given to prevent a sexually transmitted infection that can cause cancer. Recently the issue of the vaccination came up during the Republican race for president when Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) called the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer "dangerous" and said that it may cause mental retardation, but expert opinion in the medical field contradicts her claim. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also a presidential contender, has taken heat from some within his party for presiding over a vaccination program in his home state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The pilot trial scheme allowed gay men to receive the vaccine which used to be available for girls only. The reason of avoiding vaccinating men was that men who only have sex with women would logically also be protected from transmission through ‘herd immunity’. However, an obvious flaw in the ‘herd immunity’ plan left gay men vulnerable. As they have sex with each other, they have no protection when HPV spreads among MSM. Mike Freer MP had asked the government to confirm “on what date HPV vaccinations were made available to men who have sex with men; and how many such men have received that vaccination since that date.”

The trial comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation warned that gay men were being left vulnerable. The JCVI advised that the three dose vaccine should be offered to gay and bisexual men who are at high risk of contracting the virus, provided that the service can be delivered at a cost effective price.

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