The HPV vaccine does not promote sexual activity in teenage girls, suggests a Harvard study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Because of such concerns, many parents have not allowed their children to get the vaccine, which protects against the two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause most cervical cancers and are sexually transmitted.
Using a large U.S. health insurance database, the researchers found that vaccinated and unvaccinated girls (ages 12 to 18) had the same rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Had the vaccine actually led to an increase in sexual activity, the vaccinated girls would have been expected to have a steeper rise in STIs. For more about the HPV vaccine, go to The HPV Vaccine and Teens.