Teen sex doesn't predict HPV infection

July 7, 2008 at 1:38 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 7 (UPI) -- Women sexually active as teens are just as likely as women not sexually active in youth to get human papillomavirus as adults, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital say using risk factors as a means to determine who should get the HPV vaccine is not an effective strategy.

Lead author Dr. Amanda F. Dempsey says much of the confusion over whether or not to vaccinate a patient stems from conflicting recommendations -- the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advocates for universal vaccination, but the American Cancer Society recommends vaccinating all females younger than 18, and selectively vaccinating women ages 19 to 26 based on sexual history.

Dempsey and colleagues selected six high-risk behaviors that have been shown in other studies to be associated for sexually active women with a higher risk of HPV -- the number of sexual partners, history of having an older male sexual partners and/or a new sex partner with the past year, illegal drug use, history of sex while impaired by drinking and regular use of cigarettes/alcohol.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found of the risk factors evaluated during adolescence, none was found to be associated with future HPV infection

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