Objective: To examine whether HPV vaccination influences sexual behaviour in adolescent girls, either by giving them a 'green light' to have sex, or because perceived protection afforded by the vaccine permits compensatory risky sexual behaviour.
Design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys.
Setting: Seven English schools.
Main outcome measures: Self-reported sexual behaviour.
Participants: The cross-sectional survey included 1053 girls (mean age 17.1 years) who had (n=433 recruited in March 2010) or had not (n=620 recruited in March 2009) been offered the HPV vaccine. The longitudinal survey included 407 girls (mean age 17.5 years) who had been offered HPV vaccination and had either received at least one dose (n=148) or had not received any doses (n=259).
Results: In the cross-sectional survey, the group of girls who had been offered the HPV vaccine were no more likely to be sexually active than the group of girls who had not been offered the HPV vaccine. In the longitudinal survey, the vaccinated group were no more likely to have changed their condom use or increased their total number of sexual partners than the unvaccinated group.
Conclusions: Neither being offered the HPV vaccine nor receiving it affected sexual behaviour.
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