Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test
A Reference human papillomavirus (HPV) Opens New Window test is done to check for a high-risk HPV infection in women. HPV is a Reference sexually transmitted infection (STI) Opens New Window. An HPV test checks for the genetic material (Reference DNA Opens New Window) of the human papillomavirus. Like a Reference Pap test Opens New Window, an HPV test is done on a sample of cells collected from the Reference cervix Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
There are many types of HPV. Some types cause Reference warts Opens New Window that you can see or feel. Other types do not cause any symptoms. Most people do not know they have an HPV infection.
This test will show whether a high-risk type of HPV is present. In women, high-risk types of HPV (such as types 16, 18, 31, and 45) cause changes in the cells of the cervix that can be seen as abnormal changes on a Pap test. Abnormal cervical cell changes may resolve on their own without treatment. But some untreated cervical cell changes can progress to serious abnormalities and may lead to Reference cervical cancer Opens New Window over time if they are not treated.
For information about treatment of abnormal cervical cell changes seen on a Pap test, see the topic Reference Abnormal Pap Test.
Although HPV is found in both men and women, this test is not used on men. The HPV test is used to detect only high-risk types of HPV. Your doctor may diagnose genital warts that are seen during a physical exam. This test is not used to diagnose genital warts caused by low-risk types of HPV.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 21, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology