In 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that all girls ages 11 to 12 receive the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends the HPV vaccine for both boys and girls at ages 11 to 12. HPV strains are the most common sexually transmitted viruses, and HPV causes a large number of cancers of the mouth and throat, cervix and genital organs.
In the study, “Sexual Activity-Related Outcomes after Human Papillomavirus Vaccination of 11- to 12-Year-Olds,” published in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 15), HPV vaccination of girls at the recommended ages was not associated with increased markers of sexual activity, as measured by pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease infections and/or contraceptive counseling for up to three years after vaccination.
While early onset of sexual activity and multiple sexual partners are risk factors for HPV infection, the study authors say these findings are the first to validate surveys where young women say they do not plan to modify their sexual behaviors after HPV vaccination.
Healthy Children Radio: HPV Vaccine Concerns (Audio)
Robert Bednarczyk, PhD, and Nicola Klein, MD, come on the Healthy Children radio show to discuss the study findings and other research on the HPV vaccine.
Segment 1: Many HPV Vaccine Concerns Unfounded
Segment 2: Who, What, Why: the HPV Vaccine & Your Child