A new UBC study suggests that the HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls. (Unsplash)

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Girls who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are no more likely to engage in risky sexual activity, a study from the University of B.C. suggests.

The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at the sexual behaviour of teen girls for the decade between 2003 and 2013.

The HPV vaccine was rolled out to girls in Grade 6 and 9 in 2008 and for girls in Grade 6 after 2011.

HPV is a common, sexually transmitted infection that often resolves naturally without intervention. If left untreated, persistent infection with high-risk types of the virus can cause precancerous lesions that may progress to cervical, anal, or reproductive tract cancers.

READ MORE: B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

READ MORE: HPV vaccine to be made available to Grade 6 boys in B.C.

Researchers looked at data 2003, 2008 and 2013 data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey, conducted among Grade 7 to 12 students every five years.

They found that only 18.3 per cent of teenage girls reported having sex in 2013, down from 20.6 in 2008 and 21.3 in 2003.

Those results were accompanied by a drop in girls under the age of 14 having sex and by a slight increase in condom use.

“What we have seen over the past 10 years is that young people are making healthier choices around sexual behaviours,” said UBC nursing professor and senior study author Elizabeth Saewyc.

“The knowledge and information about sexual health and the availability of the HPV vaccine to help prevent cancer has not changed things for the worse.”

The study had come after some parents expressed fears that the HPV vaccine would make their daughters more promiscuous, but Dr. Gina Ogilvie, lead study author and assistant director at the Women’s Health Research Institute at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, said that the study results did not point to that.

“These findings are consistent with studies in Scandinavia, and smaller clinic-based studies in the U.S. confirming that adolescent women do not make poorer sexual health choices after the HPV vaccine,” said Ogilvie, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Global Control of HPV-Related Disease and Cancer.

At 67 per cent, B.C. has one of the lowest HPV vaccination rates in the country.

According to B.C. Cancer, about 200 women in B.C. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and about 50 die from it.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Victoria resident faces discrimination from BC Transit since transitioning to a wheelchair

Daniel Sands says they are often not allowed on buses, even when there is room

Single dad reaches out to Greater Victoria community to help kids celebrate Christmas

A young family was overwhelmed with the warm response from strangers

North Saanich woman arrested after police pursuit, alleged abduction at elementary school

Two police officers were injured and one police vehicle damaged

Thief targets staff rooms at Victoria businesses

Surveillance shows man entering staff room where several items were reported stolen

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Most Read