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Story Updated: Oct 16, 2012
In 2006, a new vaccine was recommended to protect girls against HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other cancers.
It's been slower to catch on than other recently recommended inoculations.
So researchers decided to find out if concerns that the HPV vaccine would lead to increased sexual activity in preteens was deterring would-be patients.
The study, just published in Pediatrics, included 1,398 girls ages 11 and 12. 493 girls received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine during the study period. The other 905 did not.
Researchers followed both groups for up to three years to see whether they had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, had taken a pregnancy test, or had been counseled about contraceptives.
There was no increase in pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections or birth control counseling between the girls who had the HPV shots...and those who didn't.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends the HPV vaccine for both girls and boys at ages 11 to 12. I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the information you need to protect your health.