Sunday, August 31, 2008

HPV vaccine - another lottery?

Well done to West Kent Primary Care Trust for taking a proactive stance on HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection which can over time develop into cancer.

In the new school year, pupils in years 8 and 13 (ages 12/13 and 17/18) at schools in East Sussex and West Kent will receive preventative vaccine shots.

The actions of the PCT are of course to be applauded; anything which can save lives, and prevent the misery and heartache of cancer has to be worth exploring.

But I understand the vaccine is to be given to girls only, despite the fact that boys can also carry the disease. I see from this week's Kent and Sussex Courier ( that West Kent PCT has put the decision down to "prioritising funds for girls."

Why? God forbid that any young male should contract HPV, but how will he or indeed his family feel, knowing that he could have received the preventative vaccine?

It's probably me, but I really don't understand this.  Perhaps someone will explain it to me.

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