Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test
human papillomavirus (HPV) test is done to check for a
high-risk HPV infection in women. HPV is a
sexually transmitted infection (STI). An HPV test checks
for the genetic material (DNA) of the human papillomavirus. Like
Pap test, an HPV test is done on a sample of cells
collected from the
There are many types of HPV. Some
warts 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
cervical cancer over time if they are not treated.
To learn more about treatment of abnormal cervical cell changes
seen on a Pap test, see the topic
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.
Why It Is Done
An HPV test is done to:
- Check for high-risk types of human
papillomavirus (HPV) in women who had a Pap test that showed abnormal cervical
atypical squamous cells (ASC). An HPV test can help
look for one or more high-risk types of HPV. If an HPV test shows that
high-risk types of HPV are present, further testing, such as a
cervical biopsy, may be recommended.
for HPV in women older than age 30 as part of screening for abnormal cervical
- Help check for abnormal cervical cells after treatment of
a high-risk HPV infection.
A Pap test or an HPV test can be used to screen for cervical cancer. An HPV test may be done at the same time as a Pap test or by itself.
The results of an HPV test can help doctors decide if further tests or treatments
are needed. To learn more, see the topic