Persistent infection with certain strains of HPV (human papillomavirus) can cause ano-genital cancers, and may also be implicated in throat cancer. Vaccines have been developed that provide high-level protection against these strains of HPV and also other types of the virus that cause ano-genital warts. Since 2008, HPV vaccination has been recommended for adolescent girls in the UK. Rates of HPV-related anal cancer are higher among men who have sex with men (MSM), especially MSM living with HIV, than any other group. MSM also have a high burden of ano-genital warts.

The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said that a programme to vaccinate MSM aged 16-40 years should be considered. The JCVI calls for the Department of Health, Public Health England and local authorities to develop implementation plans.

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