HealthDay News — Young women do not engage in riskier sexual behaviors following human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination regardless of their risk perceptions, study findings indicate.

Jessica Khan, MD, MPH, of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues surveyed 339 young women aged 13 to 21 years immediately after HPV vaccination and two and six months later to assess knowledge/attitudes about HPV vaccination, risk perceptions and sexual behaviors. The results were published online in Pediatrics.

Among sexually inexperienced participants (42.5%), baseline risk perceptions were not associated with subsequent sexual initiation, the researchers found. Among sexually experienced participants (57.5%), baseline risk perceptions were not associated with subsequent number of sexual partners or condom use.

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In an age stratified analysis, girls aged 16 to 21 years that inappropriately perceived a lower risk for other sexually transmitted infections with HPV vaccination were less likely to initiate sex (odds ratio, 0.13; 95% CI: 0.03–0.69).

“Risk perceptions after HPV vaccination were not associated with riskier sexual behaviors over the subsequent six months in this study sample,” the researchers concluded.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including manufacturers of the HPV vaccine.


  1. Mayhew A et al. Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2822.