Teen HPV vaccine does not spur riskier sex

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Counter to the fears of some parents (and a few doctors), teen girls who are vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) do not go on to catch more sexually transmitted diseases than their peers, according to a large new study. Some parents have been hesitant to have their teens vaccinated for fear that they would be emboldened to have more, and riskier, sex – the kind that can put them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The HPV vaccine has been available in the U.S. since 2006 and is recommended for all preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12, so they have time to develop an immune response before becoming sexually active. “But 10 to 20 percent of parents and at least some pediatricians think that this could be an issue.” The recommended three doses of the vaccine protect against the two strains of HPV responsible for most cervical, anal and vaginal cancers.
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