According to Kaiser Permanente and Emory University researchers, the vaccine Gardasil, which is for the human papillomarvirus or HPV, is not responsible for increasing young girl’s sexual activity.
An independent research study’s results were published Tuesday online in Pediatrics. The study was conducted during the first year and one half following the vaccine becoming available.
Nearly 1,400 girls who were between the ages of 11 and 12 were examined. All of the girls examined were members of the health plan of Kaiser Permanente between 2006 and 2007 in Georgia.
The study’s lead author was Robert Bednarczyk, an Emory University epidemiologist and clinical investigator with Kaiser Permanente. He said the study found that there was a similar rate of testing, counseling and diagnosis amongst the girls receiving the vaccine and those girls who did not.
The doctor added that there were no increases in the number of pregnancies, birth control counseling or sexually transmitted disease infections, which suggests that the vaccine for HPV does not impact on an increase in sexual activity.
Amongst the girls in the independent study, 493 received a minimum of one dose of the vaccine for HPV. The control group, which included the remaining 900 girls, received vaccines that were recommended but not the vaccine for HPV. Over the next three-year period, the girls were assessed in terms of their sexual activity.
The researchers in the study found that 10% of the girls involved had been tested for STDs (sexually transmitted disease), diagnosed for STDs, received counseling on contraceptive uses or received a test for pregnancy. Just eight of the girls, or less than 1%, had been diagnosed with an infection that was sexually transmitted or had a pregnancy test that was positive. The girl’s average ages that were involved was 14.5 years.