TABLE 3

Risk Perceptions Among Study Participants

All (n = 339)Sexually Experienced at Baseline (n = 195)Sexually Inexperienced at Baseline (n = 144)
Mean (SD)Mean (SD)Mean (SD)P valuea
Risk perceptions (5-item subscales)
 Need for safer sexual behaviorsb1.6 (1.6)1.6 (1.7)1.5 (1.4)0.59
 STI risk perceptionsc3.9 (2.0)3.7 (2.1)4.0 (2.0)0.18
  • a P value represents the comparison between sexually experienced and sexually inexperienced participants; a Wilcoxon test was used to compare means.

  • b Need for safer sexual behaviors was measured by using a 5-item scale comprised of the following items: After getting vaccinated against HPV … (1) I think that condom use during sex is less necessary, (2) I feel it is just as important to have as few sexual partners as possible, (3) I feel it is not as important to talk to my sex partners about safe sex, (4) I think it is still just as important to use a condom every time I have sex, and (5) I will be less worried about having unprotected sex. Responses were on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. Some items were reverse-scored so that lower scores indicated more appropriate risk perceptions (ie, perception that safer sexual behaviors are still important after vaccination). Median scale score was 1.0 and range was 0 to 6.9.

  • c STI risk perceptions were measured using a 5-item scale comprised of the following items: After getting vaccinated against HPV … (1) I am less worried about getting an STI or STD other than HPV, (2) I am still just as concerned about getting an STI or STD other than HPV, (3) I think getting an STI or STD other than HPV will be less of a problem, (4) I am less worried that one of my sex partners could get an STI or STD other than HPV from me, and (5) There is less of a chance that I will get an STI or STD other than HPV than there used to be. Responses were on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. Some items were reverse-scored so that lower scores indicated more appropriate risk perceptions (ie, perception that there is still a risk for STIs other than HPV after vaccination). Median scale score was 4.0 and range was 0 to 10.0.