Concerns have been raised that risk perceptions after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination may lead to riskier sexual behaviors or sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis. The aims of this study were to determine whether risk perceptions immediately after HPV vaccination (perceived risk of HPV, perceived risk of STIs other than HPV, and perceived need for safer sexual behaviors, measured using 5-item scales) were associated with number of sexual partners, condom use at last sexual intercourse, or STI diagnosis over the subsequent 48 weeks in HIV-infected young women (N = 99, 17-24 years of age) participating in an HPV vaccine clinical trial. Generalized estimating equation models demonstrated that lower perceived need for safer sexual behaviors was associated subsequently with lower total number of sexual partners (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01-1.09) and lower perceived risk of HPV was associated with subsequent report of having used condoms at last sex (AOR = 0.36, AOR = 0.14-0.92). Lower perceived risk of other STIs was not associated with subsequent sexual behaviors. None of the three risk perceptions was associated with subsequent risk of STIs. The findings suggest that inappropriate risk perceptions after HPV vaccination such as lower perceived need for safer sexual behaviors and lower perceived risk of HPV or other STIs were not subsequently associated with risky behaviors or STI diagnosis in HIV-infected young women.
Keywords: HIV; HPV; adolescent; risk perception; sexual behavior; vaccine.