HealthDay News — Implementation of a school-based human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program in Canada did not lead to an increase in sexual risk-taking behaviors among adolescent girls, according to a study published in the October 15 issue of CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

Gina S. Ogilvie, MD, DrPH, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues used data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey in order to evaluate population-level changes in sexual behaviors among 298,265 heterosexual girls before and after implementation of the school-based HPV vaccination program. 

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The researchers found that the proportion of girls self-reporting ever having sexual intercourse decreased from 21.3% in 2003 to 18.3% in 2013 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.79). There was a significant decrease in self-report of sexual intercourse before the age of 14 years from 2008 to 2013 (aOR, 0.76), along with a decrease in reported substance use before intercourse (aOR, 0.69). The number of sexual partners reported from 2003 to 2013 did not significantly change. Lastly, between 2003 and 2013, girls’ reported use of contraception and condoms increased, while pregnancy rates decreased.

“These findings contribute evidence against any association between HPV vaccination and risky sexual behaviors,” the authors write.

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