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Northern Ireland gay men to be offered human papilloma virus jab


Health Minister Michelle O'Neill

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill

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.

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