Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your doctor may be able to diagnose HPV infection after visual inspection of any warts or lesions.

If genital warts aren't visible, you may need one or more of the following tests:

  • Vinegar (acetic acid) solution test. Your doctor may apply a vinegar solution that turns HPV-infected genital areas white. This may help in identifying difficult-to-see flat lesions.
  • Pap test. Your doctor collects a sample of cells from your cervix or vagina to send for laboratory analysis. Pap tests can reveal abnormalities that may lead to cancer.
  • DNA test. This test can recognize the DNA of the high-risk varieties of HPV that have been linked to genital cancers. The test is conducted on a sample of cells taken from your cervix. It's recommended for women 30 and older in addition to the Pap test.
Sept. 16, 2014