HPV vaccine doesn't result in more teen sex, study finds
In the ongoing debate about whether teens should be vaccinated against Human papillomavirus (HPV) two arguments are most commonly made. One says that it may cause other health problems in young people, and the other claims that the vaccination may make youngsters more prone to early or risky sexual activity.
At least the second of these concerns appears to have been debunked recently, as a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that HPV-vaccinated teens were not more likely to start having sex before the age of 15 - or have more sex partners - than their unvaccinated counterparts, according to media reports.
The study included more than 1,200 women aged 15-24 years, who were part of the National Survey of Family Growth. The researchers found that in addition to not being more prone to risky sexual behavior, these girls were in fact more likely to practice safer sex. The scientists attributed this to the participants' greater awareness about sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
HPV is a term that covers some 150 viruses, some of which cause benign growths such as warts, and some of which have been implicated in a variety of cancers, including those of the cervix as well as head and neck, according to the National Cancer Institute.