There has been a perception among some American since a long time that HPV vaccination for teens will lead them to engage more into unprotected sex. But a new study has revealed that immunization against the HPV disease have no effect on the sexual behavior, especially in women.
In simpler terms, the scientists said that the HPV vaccine will play no role in women as they are likely to engage in sex the same way they would do otherwise.
The HPV vaccine helps in preventing some strains of the virus that occurs commonly and can cause cervical cancer.
The vaccine has triggered controversy with the pediatricians, policymakers and parents expressing concern over the HPV vaccines to teens as they believe this is just like making a convenient bridge to young age sex. The concern is also over teens’ misunderstanding about the purpose of vaccine that it is only meant to provide protection against HPV and has not made them immune to other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), which are not covered by it.
For the new study, the researchers looked into the medical history of 21,000 girls, between the age group 12 and 18. The medical records from 2005 to 2010 were analysed and then compared to the data collected from 180,000 women who have not received vaccination against HPV.
According to the researchers, no relation was found between HPV vaccine and increased chances of women engaging into unsafe sexual practices.
Study lead author Dr. Anupam Jena, an assistant professor of health care policy at the Harvard Medical School, said, “This is a reasonable concern to have had, but the evidence suggests that it’s not important. Physicians can be reassured by these findings and use them to talk to their patients.”
But the lead author also concluded that some high-quality studies have indicated this behavioral response in their findings. Hence, the concern of parents, pediatricians and policymakers over the issue cannot be outrightly denied.
The findings of the study were detailed online on Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.