Almost half  of Irish parents would get their sons vaccinated against HPV

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Almost half  of Irish parents would get their sons vaccinated against HPV

Irish Life Health recommend that for further information on HPV vaccination in boys, you refer to a member of your HSE school immunisation team, your public health nurse or your GP.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is now so common that the majority (80%) of Irish men and women will get the virus at some point in their lives, yet new research reveals that 95% of parents underestimate just how prevalent the virus is. This is part of research announced as part of Irish Life Health’s “Not Just for Girls” HPV awareness campaign.

HPV is a family of common viruses that are passed on through sexual contact. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems; however, there are numerous strains of HPV, some of which can cause cancer or precancerous lesions iv.

The HSE currently offers the HPV vaccination to girls, in their first year of secondary school. However, there are benefits of vaccination in boys, alongside girls, not only does it help to prevent the spread of the virus to others, it also prevents HPV-related cancers in both males and females, by helping the immune system fight and clear the HPV infection.

The “Not Just for Girls” campaign by Irish Life Health also highlights that 85 men in Ireland are diagnosed with HPV related cancers every year, which could potentially be prevented by a simple vaccination. Irish Life Health’s focus is to help its customers live healthier lives and Irish Life Health is the first and only Irish health insurer to offer its members up to €200 back on HPV vaccinations for both boys and girls across a variety of its plans.

The HPV Vaccination has been a hot topic in Leitrim in recent years with local families speaking out against the vaccine.

Read: Two Leitrim fathers speak at IFICA conference