Northern Ireland gay men to be offered human papilloma virus jab
Gay men under the age of 45 are to be offered a human papilloma virus (HPV) jab on the NHS, the health minister has announced.
The jab protects against the HPV, which has been linked to a range of cancers most commonly found in men who have sex with men.
Michelle O'Neill said her department was investing £100,000 in the new vaccination programme after seeking advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
She said ahead of a visit to the Belfast Pride festival: "This will be a targeted vaccination programme for men who have sex with men aged up to 45 who attend genito-urinary medicine (GUM) and HIV clinics."
A similar decision was taken by the Welsh health minister last December.
Most people would need three doses of the HPV vaccine, ideally over a 12-month period.
The vaccine has long been offered to adolescent girls as part of the fight against cervical cancer.