In a survey conducted by OnePoll1, three times as many people said they would support giving the jab to boys than were opposed to it. The poll also showed the public’s lack of knowledge when it comes to the virus, with more than one in five men (21%) under the impression HPV can be transmitted like a common cold.

Experts have forecast that the human papillomavirus (HPV), often transmitted via oral sex, will overtake tobacco use as the main risk factor for mouth cancer within the next decade.

Professor Margaret Stanley from the Department of Pathology University of Cambridge, was keynote speaker at this year’s Mouth Cancer Action Month Parliamentary Reception last month. She claims the number of HPV-related cancers in men are growing at an alarming rate.

She says: ‘The burden of HPV associated cancers is now almost the same in men as in women. Men face a significant and rising risk of HPV-associated disease, and without vaccination men remain at risk.

‘It is not fair, ethical or socially responsible to have a public health policy that leaves half of the population vulnerable to infection. This is why men should get the HPV vaccine immediately.’