1. Rosenberg, Karen
  2. Mechcatie, Elizabeth MA, BSN


According to this study:


* Sexually inexperienced adolescent girls and young adult women who've been vaccinated against human papillomavirus aren't more likely to engage in riskier sexual behaviors.



Article Content

Although routine vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) has been recommended for girls and young women for more than a decade, vaccination rates remain low. Researchers posited that this may be partially because of parental and pediatrician concerns that girls and young women believe HPV vaccination protects them from any sexually transmitted infection (STI) and so they would engage in riskier behaviors, including earlier initiation of sexual activity, which is associated with adverse health outcomes. In this study, researchers examined the relationship between HPV vaccine-related risk perceptions and initiation of sexual activity among young women during the 30 months after they were vaccinated.


The 91 participants were 13 to 21 years of age, were sexually inexperienced, and had completed at least three of five study visits after receiving the HPV vaccine. At each visit, participants completed surveys evaluating their perceived risk of STIs other than HPV and their perceived continued need for safer sexual behaviors. They were also asked if they had initiated sexual activity since the last visit.


After the first HPV vaccination, most participants perceived themselves to be at continued risk for STIs other than HPV, and the majority of adolescents and young women perceived a continued need for safer sexual behaviors. These results didn't change significantly during the study period. Sixty-five participants had initiated sexual activity by the end of the study. Neither perceived risk of STIs other than HPV nor perceived need for safer sexual behaviors was associated with the initiation of sexual activity after HPV vaccination or with age of initiation of sexual activity.-KR




Mullins TLK, et al J Adolesc Health 2018 62 2 164-9