Protect our boys from HPV related cancers

by Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation

Protect our boys from HPV related cancers

by Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation
Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation
Hi, I'm Jamie. After surviving throat cancer caused by HPV I founded the Throat Cancer Foundation, a national charity that campaigns for HPV vaccination for both boys and girls. #ourboysdeservebetter
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Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation
Hi, I'm Jamie. After surviving throat cancer caused by HPV I founded the Throat Cancer Foundation, a national charity that campaigns for HPV vaccination for both boys and girls. #ourboysdeservebetter
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: June 21, 2018

We *might* have won!

The Mail on Sunday has reported that Jeremy Hunt will give the go-ahead for boys to vaccinated against HPV at the same time as girls.

While nothing is confirmed, this would be absolutely fantastic n...

Read more

1 in 20 of all cancers are caused by a virus called HPV and, in the UK alone, around 2,000 men develop one of these cancers each year. The HPV virus is extremely common, and around four in five (80%) of us, male and female, are infected at some point. Girls are vaccinated against HPV infection, but boys are not. 

We want fairness, for all our children to be protected. Please help us prevent the avoidable suffering caused due to the unfair and discriminatory policy to not vaccinate boys. We will be launching legal proceedings to seek a judicial review to challenge this, and we need your help.



I’m Jamie. In 2010 I was diagnosed with and was treated for a cancer of the throat (oropharyngeal cancer) which was caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). I recovered, although I am left with ongoing health problems caused by the aggressive treatment required to treat this cancer.

I don’t want anybody else to have to unnecessarily go through the horrible pain and suffering that cancer causes, so I set up the Throat Cancer Foundation to support others and campaign for universal HPV vaccination. Steve, one of our supporters shares his experience:


The number of throat cancer cases caused by HPV has increased sharply over the past 20 years, and this trend will continue unless we prevent new cases from occurring by vaccinating boys as well as girls. In men, HPV causes cancers of the throat, mouth, penis and anus.

1 in 20 of all cancers are caused by HPV and, in the UK alone, around 2,000 men develop one of these each year. In men, HPV causes cancers of the throat, mouth, penis and anus. The virus is extremely common, and around four in five (80%) of us, male and female, are infected at some point – the virus does not discriminate. There are many types of HPV. Types 16 and 18 are those responsible for causing HPV related cancers.

Girls are currently protected by HPV vaccination, but boys are not, leaving them vulnerable to HPV infection and completely avoidable cases of cancer. This discrimination is unfair and, we believe, unlawful.

The government’s vaccination advisory committee is considering whether boys should be vaccinated and last year issued an interim statement which stated that it did not believe this would be ‘cost effective’, completely ignoring the suffering caused by and lives lost to cancers caused by HPV. We strongly believe that they have a moral obligation to make vaccination available to boys as well as girls.

We are preparing for legal action because we believe it is right to protect the health of more than 400,000 boys each year. The Throat Cancer Foundation has instructed lawyers who have already written to the vaccination advisory committee, and who will prepare for a judicial review as soon as we have secured sufficient funds. We are asking you to contribute to our fund to enable us to fight this discrimination against boys.

Our lawyers have offered to represent us for free due to the importance of this case, but we will still be liable for the court costs. We expect these to be ring fenced at £15,000.

We would be extremely grateful if you could help us raise this money, so we can make HPV and HPV-related cancers a thing of the past. Any funds raised over our target will be used to continue to support those affected by cancer.

Thank you.

Update 3

Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation

June 21, 2018

We *might* have won!

The Mail on Sunday has reported that Jeremy Hunt will give the go-ahead for boys to vaccinated against HPV at the same time as girls.

While nothing is confirmed, this would be absolutely fantastic news.

They report that the interim decision last year by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) was based on a 'flawed' computer model, and since running it again with new figures showing that 650 men lose their lives to HPV-related cancers each year (mainly of the throat or mouth) they have decided to recommend vaccination for boys.

We believe that keeping up the pressure on the JCVI through our campaigning along with HPV Action has helped keep this issue on the agenda, and we thank the Mail on Sunday for their campaign and articles over the last six months which have helped keep the injustice of the current vaccination policy in the public eye.

The fight isn't over yet though. Even if this decision by the JCVI is confirmed when their minutes are published next month, the Government still has to accept their advice and set a timetable for the vaccination of boys to start.

With 2000 men diagnosed with a HPV-related cancer a year, and 650 men losing their lives, we are not willing to sit around and wait. We will continue with our legal action to bring a judicial review if we feel heels are being dragged or if the JCVI's decision is different than reported.

You can read the full article on MailOnline

Update 2

Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation

May 31, 2018

And we're off - our lawyers have taken the first step in our legal action.

An update on our case for universal HPV vaccination.

Our lawyers Leigh Day have now sent a letter before claim to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which is the first stage in the judicial review process.

The letter sets out our argument that the present policy is unlawful as it constitutes direct sex discrimination and so is in breach of the Equality Act 2010 as HPV vaccination is beneficial to boys as well as girls.

"The present policy, which is operated by the Secretary of State based on a prior recommendation of the JCVI, constitutes direct sex discrimination contrary to section 13 of the EA. The relevant public service, namely the provision of HPV vaccinations, has the capacity to benefit both boys and girls. It follows that the only reason that the service is not made available to boys as well as girls is an economic assessment that boys would receive less benefit than girls.”

We have asked for a response to this letter by the 7th of June, the day after the JCVI next meets, and based on that response we will then consider the next stage of our action, which may be filing a judicial review claim in court.

Please consider making a pledge to help us with our case or pledging again. We’re nearly 90% of the way towards our target of £25,000 and the money you pledge will go towards the court and associated costs of our case.

Thank you.

Jamie Rae

Update 1

Jamie Rae, Throat Cancer Foundation

April 12, 2018

We're nearly there! Please keep pledging.

Thank you so much to everyone who has pledged their support to our case so far.

We are now closing in on our stretch target of £25,000 which will cover all of our costs related to the judicial review, so we've extended our campaign so we have more time to hit our target.

Please help us get across the finishing line so that both boys and girls can be protected against HPV-related cancers.

Thank you.

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