LONDON, January 17, 2013, ( – The British Medical Association (BMA) has said that Gardasil, the vaccine given to young girls to prevent HPV infection, and the cervical cancer that can result from it, should be administered to homosexual men to combat the common types of cancer associated with their sexual activities.


In 2008-9, the British government contracted with the manufacturers of Gardasil, Merck & Co., Inc., to vaccinate the nation’s entire population of girls.

Now the BMA wants to extend the vaccination program to homosexual men after increases in anal, throat, and penile cancer associated with “increased sexual activity.” Anal cancer alone is rising at 1-3 percent a year in most developed countries, the Independent newspaper reports.

The Dermatology and Venereology subgroup of the BMA has written to the UK’s minister for Health asking that Gardasil be offered to young homosexual men at sexual health clinics. The letter warned of an “alarming increase in anal cancer in gay men.” 

“We believe that a vaccination program with Gardasil [for young homosexuals] would be of enormous benefit in reducing the incidence of anal warts, anal pre-cancer and cancer, as borne out in Australia,” the letter says.

A national vaccination program was introduced in 2004 in Australia to give Gardasil to girls aged 12 and 13 and will now be extended to boys.  But the letter acknowledges that vaccinating all boys in the UK “is not economically viable.”

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The vaccine guards against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, of which the last two are thought to be responsible for 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer, as well as for most HPV-induced anal, vulvar, vaginal, and penile cancer cases.

Many parents and some health associations have objected to the mass vaccination campaigns, citing the many incidents of severe side effects, including deaths, associated with the drug.

Others have said that such efforts do nothing to curb the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, but only induce a false sense of security that leads to more risky behavior.