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Boys to be invited for HPV vaccination in France

Boys aged 11 to 14 in France will be invited to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) from summer 2020, health authority la Haute Autorité de la Santé has confirmed.

HPV is a common viral infection, usually spread by sexual contact. It has been linked to up to 6,000 new cases of cancer per year in France for both men and women, but especially for women. It can cause cancers of the genitals, cervix, mouth, and throat.

The minister for health has now confirmed that boys will be invited to receive the vaccine from summer next year.

Until now, only girls had been invited to receive the HPV vaccine. Around 90% of women are thought to have HPV - which often causes no symptoms - by the time they become sexually active.

Despite this, just 20% of girls in France are vaccinated. Even fewer boys have received the jab in France, even though the virus can be spread by everyone.

HPV vaccination recommendations vary from country to country. In Australia and Scotland, 70% of the population is estimated to be vaccinated. In the US, many health professionals recommend that children be vaccinated before they have the chance to be exposed to the virus (before adolescence).

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