The HPV vaccine protects females from developing cervical cancer; and anal cancer as well,.
The concern for parents was that the HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccination might give girls a perceived "green light", telling them that now they have had the shot, the risk of becoming infected and subsequently developing cervical cancer has gone, so they need not be so careful about having sex.
Alice S. Forstera, Laura A.V. Marlowa, Judith Stephensonb, Jane Wardlea, and Jo Wallera set out to determine whether the HPV vaccine had any impact on the sexual behavior of adolescent girls.
They gathered and examined data on a cross-section of more than 1,052 British girls, with an average age of 17.1 years. 433 of them had been offered the HPV vaccine, while the other 620 had not (yet).
They found that the sexual behavior of the vaccinated girls was no different from that of the unvaccinated ones.
Of the 433 who had been offered the vaccine, 148 had taken it - none of them were less likely to use a condom after being vaccinated. Their total number of sexual partners was no different compared to the data found in the unvaccinated group.
The researchers say their evidence appears to show that vaccinating girls against HPV does not change their sexual behavior.
The CDC carried out a study in the USA and also found that HPV vaccines do not alter the sexual behavior of girls. Their findings were published in the December 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
A study published today, October 15th, 2012, in the journal Pediatrics also found that the HPV vaccine does not lead to an increase in sexual activity in young girls.
What Is HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)?HPV is a virus from the papillomavirus family that affects the moist membranes and the skin of human beings, such as the feet, nails, throat, anus, and cervix.
There are more than 100 types, of which 40 can affect the genital area. The majority of HPV types are harmless to humans and cause no signs or symptoms. Some may cause warts (verrucae), and an even smaller number can raise the risk of developing cancers of the anus, vagina, penis, cervix and throat.
Recent studies have shown that HPV may also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The HPV 16 and 18 strains are the cause of nearly all cancers of the cervix in humans. The two strains also raise the risk of throat cancer.
The most common sexually transmitted infection is genital human papillomavirus, says the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The more that 40 types that are able to infect the genitals may affect both females and males alike - they may also infect the mouth and throat.
Most people who are infected with HPV have no signs or symptoms and are unaware of their infection status.
When females are infected, it does not occur for long and there are no long-term consequences. In over 70% of all young female infections, it clears up within twelve months. 94% of all infections clear up within two years.
However, in up to 10% of cases the infection does not go away. Long-term HPV infection significantly raises a woman's risk of having cancerous lesions of the cervix, which can eventually develop into cancer of the cervix.
The pre-cancerous lesions can be treated and reversed. There is a risk of loss of fertility.
The best way to protect a country's female population from cervical cancer is to vaccinate as many as possible. One of the biggest problems in the USA is getting girls to complete their course of HPV vaccinations.