Merck’s Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix vaccines protect against strains of the humanpapilloma virus or HPV that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against some strains of the virus that cause genital warts, but neither vaccine can prevent other forms of sexually transmitted diseases.
A study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, shows the need for better education about the vaccines and their limitations. Some adolescent girls who get the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer seem to think they no longer need to practice safe sex!
The authors said the study was limited in that subjects came from a single urban clinic serving low-income clients so the findings may not apply to more general populations.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, but some authors have been awarded research grants from Merck.
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