Young women who receive the HPV vaccine are not more likely to have sex or participate in unsafe sexual behaviors. That's according to a report released Monday by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
The study finds teen girls and young women's beliefs about the human papillomavirus vaccine - whether accurate or inaccurate - aren't linked to subsequent sexual behaviors.
“We hope this study reassures parents, and thus improves HPV vaccination rates, which in turn will reduce rates of cervical and other cancers that can result from HPV infection,” says Jessica Kahn, MD, a physician in the division of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s.
The study results are published in the eFirst pages of the journal Pediatrics.
From the hospital's announcement:
HPV is a common STI that affects 7.5 million girls and young women in the United States between the ages of 14 and 24. HPV causes cervical cancer and other genital cancers, but vaccines are available that prevent the types of HPV that are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends HPV vaccination for teenage girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26, for teen boys and men between 11 and 21, and for men 22 to 26 who are at high risk for HPV.