The United States reports 32,500 new cancer cases caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) each year. The only way to prevent the cancer-causing virus is to vaccinate against HPV, but efforts to do so only focus on women despite the fact that HPV affects nearly half of American men. A recent Inverse article noted that on the other side of the pond, the UK government is addressing the problem by providing free HPV vaccinations to all boys.
According to the government announcement, all boys aged 12-13 in England will be given a vaccine to combat HPV-related cancers. The move is an amendment to an existing program that has provided HPV vaccinations to girls since 2008. The vaccine will protect against diseases like oral, throat, and anal cancer and reduce the number of cervical cancers in women. Hopefully the U.S. will follow suit and provide a similar program to protect its citizens against HPV-related illnesses.