Government advisers have said the HPV vaccine offered to girls aged 12 or 13 to help protect them against cervical cancer should also be available to men who have sex with men.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends three doses for men aged up to 45 who attend clinics specialising in treating HIV and genitourinary conditions. There should be no lower age limit, it says.
Male prisoners who have sex with men and transgender women should also be offered the vaccine, said the committee, adding that its advice depends on procurement of the vaccine and any immunisation programme being cost-effective.
The committee said the complex commissioning arrangements involving specialist clinics could be challenging. While sexual health is the responsibility of local government, the NHS is responsible for commissioning primary care and national vaccination programmes.
The JCVI also said there may be considerable benefit in offering the vaccine to others deemed to be at risk, including some men over 45, sex workers and HIV-positive men and women. But this could happen on a case-by-case basis, since clinicians can already offer vaccinations beyond the limits of national programmes.