UK: Nobel scientist calls for HPV vaccination for boys

The UK should vaccinate all boys against the cancer-causing human papilloma virus, Professor Harald zur Hausen, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered the link between HPV and cancer has said. There is now a wealth of evidence that HPV also causes cancers in men, including anal, penile and throat cancer. Professor zur Hausen added that there was now a chance to “eradicate” HPV viruses altogether if the world developed global vaccination programmes for all children.

Since 2008 the UK has offered free vaccinations against HPV to girls aged 12 to 13 – a programme that had an almost 87% uptake from 2013 to 2014 and has led to falls in the number of pre-cancerous abnormalities of the cervix, according to research. Scientists say changes in sexual behaviour – with more couples having oral and anal sex – may be the cause of increased cases of anal and throat cancers in both men and women in recent decades. Read More