United Kingdom: HPV Jab Girls Are "Sex Cautious"
October 28, 2009
Young Manchester girls who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine said the shots made them more aware about the risks of sex, according to a new survey. The findings might serve as a rebuttal to critics who believe HPV vaccination would make girls more sexually promiscuous, experts said.
"The vaccine was perceived to be painful, and there were exaggerated rumors of serious adverse events and needle scares," according to the Glaxo-funded study, which was conducted before Britain's national HPV vaccine program rollout.
"The HPV vaccine is an important step towards preventing cervical cancer in the UK, but it will only be truly successful if uptake is high," said Dr. Leslie Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK. "Despite the scare stories, this research suggests that the HPV vaccine could make the majority of girls more cautious about sex."
About 70 percent of girls ages 12-13 in England were given all three HPV shots during the vaccine program's first year.
The full report, "A Survey of Adolescent Experiences of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in the Manchester Study," was published online ahead of the printed British Journal of Cancer (2009;doi:10.1038/sj.bcj.6605362).