Kiran Randhawa, Health and Social Affairs Correspondent
14 Feb 2011
Doctors today called on the Government to introduce a vaccine for girls on the NHS against genital warts, after infection rates soared.
New figures show cases of the human papillomavirus, which can also lead to cervical cancer, have risen by a third in a decade to 91,000 – with 14,000 in London, the worst-hit area.
It is the second most common sexually transmitted disease after chlamydia and the NHS spends at least £46million a year treating the infection, plus a further £4million on other conditions it causes.
The current HPV vaccine, Cervarix, introduced for all girls aged 13 to 18 in 2008, prevents against the strains that cause cervical cancer, but leaves young women at risk of developing genital warts.
Now 500 doctors and other sexual health workers are backing a campaign by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV to get the jab replaced with Gardasil, which protects against both conditions.