Reuters (01.02.12) - Friday, January 06, 2012
Nearly a quarter of adolescent girls who were vaccinated
against human papillomavirus were subsequently less concerned
about practicing safer sex, a new study found. HPV vaccine
cannot prevent other STDs, or treat active HPV infections.
In a survey of 339 females ages 13-21 who had received their
first HPV shot, most endorsed the continuing importance of
practicing safer sex. However, 23.6 percent thought they were
at less risk for getting STDs after the shot. Factors
associated with this perception included having less
information about the HPV vaccine and HPV infections, being
less concerned about contracting HPV, and not using a condom
at last sexual intercourse with a male partner.
The findings from a single urban clinic serving low-income
clients may not be applicable to a more general population,
the authors said.
"Clinicians discussing HPV vaccination with girls and their
mothers may need to emphasize the limitations of the vaccine
and to specifically address that the vaccine does not prevent
other sexually transmitted infections," wrote study authors
Dr. Tanya Kowalczyk Mullins, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Medical Center, and colleagues.
The study, "Adolescent Perceptions of Risk and Need for Safer
Sexual Behaviors After First Human Papillomavirus
Vaccination," was published in Archives of Pediatrics &
Adolescent Medicine (2012;166(1):82-88).