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HPV Vaccine Encouraging Promiscuity?

The Human Papillomavirus is a health concern to women of all ages. In recent years, a vaccine was developed for women ages 9 to 26 to initiate immunity against the cervical cancer-causing virus. Opponents of the vaccine feared it would be taken as permission for sexual activity. However, a new study shows that the HPV vaccine does not encourage promiscuity. The HPV vaccination was immediately applauded by some and shunned by others. Fear of increased sexual activity in teens prompted many to not vaccinate their children. A new study indicated that young women who received the vaccine were no more likely to participate in sexual activity than those who didn’t. Reviewing 3-years of medical records of almost 1,400 girls, doctors found no increased sexual activity. Markers for promiscuity included occurrences of testing and diagnosis for both sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Researchers also looked for instances of contraceptive usage counseling. In total, they found 8 total cases of STD presence, or pregnancy out of the nearly 1,400 participants. Further, STD rates and pregnancy occurrence were the same for both the vaccinated group and the non-vaccinated group. Overall, the study found that sexual activity in school aged children has declined over the past 15 years. HPV has become one of the largest health concerns for young women. It is estimated that nearly 20 million Americans (men and women) are infected with the Human Papillomavirus. The current rate for infection is around 6 million new cases a year. It is the primary cause for cervical cancer and genital warts. However, HPV can also induce cancers of the mouth, head, neck, penis, and anus. There have also been cases where young women have been infected with the virus, yet never participated in sexual activity of any kind. While the vaccination was originally designed for women, men are also encouraged to receive it, as they too can develop cancer from this virus. HPV is a far-reaching medical condition and creates future complications for our healthcare system. Fortunately, this study provides evidence that the HPV vaccination does not encourage promiscuity and emphasizes that young people should be active in protecting themselves from this cancer-causing virus.   Sources: Vitals on NBC - CNN Health - CBS News -
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