Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) shot does not make teenagers want ot run out and start sexing. Another study is out that parents should read, especially those who are nervous about protecting teenage girls from the natural occurrence of sexual intercourse. The March issue of Pediatrics is available today, and parents can read it online. There exists a lot of feelings about the vaccines that can prevent cancer in later life being a catalyst for teenager girls to exhibit and engage in sexual behavior, too
The study conducted by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center explains that beliefs and behaviors of teenage girls and young women about the vaccine are not connected sex during the six months they receive injections, meaning, that they did not change behavior because of a shot. If they were not having sex before the shot ,they did not feel that it was safe to do so because of the shot.
These teenagers deserve more credit than they are given. Most did not think that the shot protects from sexually transmitted infections other than the human papillomavirus it is supposed to protect those who are vaccinated from catching. For those who were already sexually active, they did not believe the shot would stop them from obtaining diseases, either.
While not all teenagers mature at the same rate emotionally, many do read, and are concerned about disease and unplanned pregnancy. Parents have to opt for open communication, even if they pack their teenager’s days and evenings full of supervised activities. Trust and communication go hand-in-hand in regard to sexuality, especially when one decides to take the step. The HPV shot will not make teenagers want to start sexing
Dr. Jessica Kahn, a physician in the division of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s, hopes parents are more at ease. “We hope this study reassures parents and helps HPV vaccination rates, which will then reduce cervical cancer rates.” she said. She issues a reminder that “Other cancers can result from HPV infection.”
In the U.S. 7.5 million young women and girls are affected by HPV between the ages of 14-24. The common STI causes cervical cancer and other genital cancers. Vaccines can prevent the types of HPV responsible for over 70 cancers. The HPV vaccination is recommended by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for teenage girls ages 11-26 and men between 22-26. Men who are high risk for HPV between the ages of 22-26 are also recommended to get the vaccine.
Dr. Kahn included teens and young women who were both sexually active and those who were not. Over 300 participants completed questionnaires after receiving the shot with large number completing follow-up surveys two and six months later. The study asked participants about attitudes and behaviors regarding sex. Including thoughts on the shot if they felt more inclined to engage in sexual activity, because of the shot. If condoms would be worn if they decided to be active, etc.
The questions are perhaps ones that parents who engage in open communication with teenagers would have at some point. It may not be comfortable but if young people are to become responsible and sexually healthy adults, honest conversation can play a role in that. The HPV shot does not make teenagers run out and want to start sexing.
Editorial By C. Imani Williams
Fort Hood Sentinel