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Embarrassing Bodies star calls for boys to get cervical cancer jab


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Dr Christian Jessen, presenter of Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies, is calling for boys to be offered the HPV vaccine and is working with retail store Boots to give people a chance to get the jab. 

The HPV vacccine prevents the human papillomavirus, spread by close physical contact and sex. The virus is the main cause of cervical cancer in women, and since 2008 the injection has been offered by the NHS to girls aged 12-13, who receive the course of injections at school. Boys are not currently offered the vaccine on the NHS, although they can catch and spread HPV. 

Dr Jessen is appealing for boys and men to also receive the vaccination. He told The Independent "We know that pretty much all cervical cancer is caused by HPV, by vaccinating boys as well as girls we should see a dramatic reduction in cervical cancer, if not eradicate it completely'.  

The HPV virus comes in over 100 variations. Although most of these are harmless and carriers will receive no side effects, some strains of the virus are responsible for 93% of anal cancer and 36% of penile cancers.

"In order to further reduced the transmission of the HPV virus, its important that both girls and boys are vaccinated," Jessen says.

In the UK, it is estimated that one in three people who are sexually active carry the virus. It is transmitted by sex, but skin-to-skin contact can often be enough for the virus to spread. HPV is also responsible for genital warts. 

The private Boots scheme is available at 68 stores nationwide. Males and females between the ages of 12-44 will be able to receive the course of injections in-store, but at a price. 12-14 year olds must pay £300 for two injections, whilst anyone over 15 will be charged £450 for their necessary course of three jabs. 

Images: Twitter, @DoctorChristian; Pixabay; 

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