The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted disease.
There is also a vaccine which is administered to patients between 14 and 24 years of age. The vaccine works against the strains that cause cancer and genital warts and is administered in three doses. The vaccine is approved in 100 countries, and some nations have countrywide vaccination programs.
Questions arose about what, if any, social impact such widespread vaccination would have. Opponents have argued that such a program would give young women a false sense of confidence and encourage them to engage in riskier sexual behavior. This, they argued, would increase teen pregnancy and the transmission of STIs. But a new study refutes this claim.
Canadian researchers conducted the study. 128,712 girls in 8th grade became eligible for Ontario’s program in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. These cohorts were compared to the classes that came just two years earlier, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. These cohorts were followed for an average of 4.5 years. Data was collected including that which would indicate increased sexual interaction such as pregnancy and the contraction of non-HPV STIs. The study found no increase in sexual interaction indicators as a result of the vaccine.
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal and Queens University in Ontario conducted the study. Investigators wrote that the “findings suggest that fears of increased risky sexual behavior following HPV vaccination are unwarranted and should not be a barrier to vaccinating at a young age.” They also wrote, “Neither HPV vaccination nor program eligibility increased the risk of pregnancy and non-HPV-related sexually transmitted infections among females aged 14-17 years.”
If you have a teen in this age group, look into HPV vaccination. There are no negative risks.