HPV Vaccine Is Not an STI Prevention


A recent study by the US firm confirms that individuals vaccinated against HPV may still need to use other protective methods for safe sex such as condom use to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections (STI)

The researchers conducted their trial in about 91 women and girls. The duration was 30 months since they began taking their first dose of HPV vaccine. Participants joined the study while at 15 years old and had not had any sexual encounter.

Researchers noted that most participants would not risk having sex without using a condom. The researchers reported in the Journal of Adolescent Health that their opinion did not change over time.

Results from the Research

At the end of this study, about 71% of the women were sexually active. Their first sex encounter timing was not triggered by how concerned they were about safe sex or the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases other than HPV.

Dr. Tanya Mullins of University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio said that women understand that HPV vaccination does not protect them from infections other than HPV. This suggested that safer sexual encounters such as using condoms were necessary.

Studies also demonstrated that HPV vaccination of adolescent women does not lead to riskier sexual behaviors. One of the most common STI is HPV. Most of the time, the infections don’t cause any symptoms because they disappear on their own. However, the HPV virus is still the major cause of cancer deaths among most women in the world. In addition to this, the virus is also associated with causing genital lesion and genital warts.

HPV vaccine is usually recommended for both boys and girls at the age of 11 and 12 years. The goal is to protect them from HPV virus before they are fully sexually active. Parents fear that their children might involve themselves in sex early or without using condoms.

The research was not controlled experiment to validate how the HPV vaccine can influence the time teen to decide to have sex. The vaccine is for all youths to aid in cancer prevention.

The Misunderstanding about HPV

Most people have misunderstood the purpose of HPV vaccine. They believe that it is a vaccine to prevent all sexually transmitted diseases in general. However, the vaccine is used to prevent cancer that is caused by the majority of HPV infections. Therefore, parents and pediatricians need to understand and to stress this.

If all stakeholders deliver this clarification in the right way to patients, there will be no reason for them to believe that they are at low risk of getting STI other than the HPV.

Researchers stressed the importance of parents talking about safe sex with their kids. This will play a key role in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Health providers and parents should continue to offer education to young women about the limitation of protection offered by HPV vaccine. This will facilitate the development and advancement of better risk perceptions among women vaccinated with HPV vaccine.