The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is looking for feedback from the public on their draft report to offer the HPV vaccine to boy as well as girls. Since 2010 the HPV vaccine has been offered to girls in first year of secondary school when they are age 12 to 13 years old.
What is HPV?
HPV stands for the human papillomavirus. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus usually spread by skin to skin contact during sexual activity. If you have ever engaged in sexual activity, you were probably exposed to HPV. Most people have HPV at some point in their lives and never know.
There are over 100 different types of HPV infection. Most have no symptoms and clear up on their own. Some infect the skin usually on the fingers and hands and cause minor problems such as skin warts and verrucas. Others infect the genitals, mouth and throat. These can cause genital warts, or more rarely cancer.
HPV infections in Ireland
On average, 539 cases of cancer associated with HPV infection are diagnosed every year in Ireland, including cervical, anal, penile and oropharyngeal (throat).
90% of genital warts are caused by HPV types that are included in the vaccine. HPV vaccinations are also proven to protect against 7 out of 10 cervical cancers.
Why is the vaccine being offered to boys as well as girls?
HIQA has found that from reviewing the evidence the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing infection with HPV. They want to extend the current programme to include boys so that they can reduce HPV-related diseases in males and females in Ireland. If you would like to read the HIQA report you can find it here.
How can I give my feedback on the report?
You can give your feedback on the report untill 5pm on Friday the 7th of September 2018.