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Misconceptions about HPV vaccine explored in special issue of scientific journal
Date:10/19/2013

ren Simon Cancer Center.

One of the presumed concerns about the HPV vaccine is that it will result in "sexual risk compensation" -- the initiation of sexual activity at a younger age or reduction of self-protection use.

Dr. Zimet said that according to several published studies, a reduction in safe-sex behaviors and initiation of sexual behavior have been explored in numerous media stories, but it is not identified by most parents as a reason for not vaccinating their daughters.

"A study published in 2012 of 13- to 21-year-old females who had just received their first dose of vaccine found that a large majority of participants recognized the need for ongoing safer sexual behaviors post-vaccination," Dr. Zimet said. "A longitudinal study in the United Kingdom surveyed 16- and 17-year-old girls before and after HPV vaccine was offered and found that participants who received vaccine were not more likely to have initiated sexual intercourse at the time of the follow-up survey. Furthermore, among those who were sexually active, vaccination status was not predictive of frequency of condom use."

"All the studies show there is no evidence of initiation of sexual behavior, use of condoms or prevalence of sexually transmitted infections between the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated groups reported in various studies in 2012," Dr. Zimet said.

Vaccine safety is sited as a concern by some parents because of the newness of the HPV vaccine. However, Dr. Zimet said the numerous large-scale studies on HPV vaccine safety have been published showing little or no evidence of severe side effects associated with the vaccine. This data is tracked nationally by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Dr. Zimet said the HPV vaccine has been available in the U.S. and Canada since 2006 and in Australia since 2007, so it should no longer be viewed as a new vaccine. "Making the choice to not vaccinate is less safe than choosing to vac
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Contact: Mary Hardin
mhardin@iu.edu
317-274-5456
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

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