Will widespread human papillomavirus prophylactic vaccination change sexual practices of adolescent and young adult women in America?

Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Aug;108(2):420-4. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000228509.11502.d2.


Two virus-like particle human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines have been shown to be nearly 100% effective in preventing type-specific persistent HPV infections and associated type-specific high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Recently, it has been hypothesized that the administration of this vaccine to young girls in the United States might increase sexual promiscuity among adolescent women and/or young adults. Thus, it has been suggested that focused vaccine strategies either based on the risk of CIN or gender might be more rational or cost-effective. However, such strategies are unlikely to completely eradicate the burden of this disease and decrease the cost of cervical cancer screening. The suggestion that widespread vaccination will alter sexual practices is refuted and the rationale for the vaccination of all girls and boys is outlined.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adolescent Health Services
  • Adult
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaccination
  • Viral Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Viral Vaccines