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HPV Vaccines Don't Change Behaviors in Young Women

No engagement in riskier sexual behavior seen following HPV vaccination

FRIDAY, Feb. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Young women do not engage in riskier sexual behaviors following human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination regardless of their risk perceptions, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in Pediatrics.

Allison Mayhew, from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and colleagues surveyed 339 young women aged 13 to 21 years both immediately after HPV vaccination and two and six months later. The authors sought to assess their knowledge/attitudes about HPV vaccination, risk perceptions, and sexual behaviors.

The researchers found that baseline risk perceptions were not associated with subsequent sexual initiation among all sexually inexperienced participants (42.5 percent). Girls aged 16 to 21 years who inappropriately perceived a lower risk for other sexually transmitted infections were less likely to initiate sex (odds ratio, 0.13). Baseline risk perceptions were not associated with subsequent number of sexual partners or condom use among all sexually experienced participants (57.5 percent).

"Risk perceptions after HPV vaccination were not associated with riskier sexual behaviors over the subsequent six months in this study sample," the authors conclude.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including manufacturers of the HPV vaccine.

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