(UKPA) – 18 hours ago
Valentine’s Day romantics will be hoping to catch the love-bug, but health experts are warning against a far more damaging infection – genital warts.
The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) is calling for people to be vaccinated against the preventable sexually transmitted infection (STI) as figures show new cases have surged by a third across the country over the last decade.
A vaccine has been on the market since 2007 but is not currently available through the NHS, and this Valentine’s Day BASHH is campaigning to highlight the cost of turning a blind eye to the most common viral STI in the UK.
At least £46 million is spent on treating genital warts cases each year, and a further £4 million treating other rare and serious conditions caused by the infection.
A recent survey of sexual health doctors showed their overwhelming support for vaccinating against genital warts as part of the school-based vaccination programme for 12-14 year old girls, established by the Government in 2008.
The current HPV vaccine Cervarix, which is administered through the NHS’s school-based vaccination programme, only protects against cervical cancer and leaves women at risk of developing genital warts. Nine in 10 sexual health doctors say they would advise their own daughters to ignore the NHS treatment and instead seek an alternative vaccine, Gardasil, which protects against both conditions, despite being potentially more costly.
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