HPV Vaccine May Cause Girls to be Cautious About Sexual Activity

HPV is a virus that has been closely associated with Cervical Cancer.  And the HPV vaccine may allow for some protection against this and other cancers.

Human Papillomavirus or more commonly known as HPV has several different types of this virus, but only a few types have been directly linked to cervical cancer.

Other types can cause Genital Warts.

It is believed that this vaccine will prevent 70% of cancers involving the cervix.

Both Gardasil and Cervarix which have been approved as a vaccination prevent 2 main types of HPV that lead to 70% of cervical cancers.

Initially, it was reported by the media and other sources that the HPV vaccine may cause girls to become more sexually active. But recent data shows that this may not be the case.

Gardasil vaccine has been approved for use in women from 9 to 26. Many people continue to argue that providing this vaccine would increase the number of younger women involved in sexual activity.

Recently a study done at the University of Manchester points to some great insights into the actions of women and girls associated with this vaccine.  It also highlights the importance of parent support.

It appears that what the vaccine has done is brought to light the risks of sexual activity.  More young women are aware of a cancer they might not have otherwise known is caused by a virus that is passed by sexual activity.

Specifically in the United Kingdom – girls are offered this vaccine at age 12-13.  This is offered in the “Government’s Vaccination Programme” that started in 2008.

Some important numbers:

79% of the 500 girls questioned states that they, because of the vaccine, are reminded of the risks of sexual activity.

4 out of 5 girls had discussed the vaccine with their parents

14% said that they may take more sexual risks because of receiving the vaccine

Dr. Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, said: “Despite the scare-stories, this research suggests that the HPV vaccine could make the majority of girls more cautious about sex.”

Brabin et al.  “British Journal of Cancer”  October 2009

Check out the following blog article:  Gardasil Vaccine – Should it be required for both boys and girls?

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