Adolescent females aged 12 through 18 years who received HPV vaccinations were unlikely to engage in more unhealthy sexual behavior (as measured by rates of sexually transmitted infection [STI]) than their peers who were not vaccinated, suggesting that HPV vaccination by itself is unlikely to promote unsafe sexual behavior.

The authors of the study, which was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine, measured STI rates among more than 21,000 vaccinated female patients and 186,000 matched nonvaccinated female patients across the United States, and a difference-in-difference analysis found negligible changes in STI rates before and after vaccination.

The findings dispel a commonly held notion that receiving the HPV vaccine in youth could promote unsafe sexual activity through behavioral disinhibition, the researchers said. However, use of the vaccine became more popular over the course of the study, with 27.3% of females receiving the vaccination by the end of 2010, compared with 2.5% at the end of 2006.Read more here: doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7886 .