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:
Sept. 16, 2014
- 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.
- Markle W, et al. Sexually transmitted diseases. Primary Care Clinics: Office Practice. 2013;40:557.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed July 8, 2014.
- Castle PE. The life cycle, natural history, and immunology of human papillomaviruses. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- Warts. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/viral_skin_diseases/warts.html. Accessed July 10, 2014.
- Genital HPV infection: Fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm. Accessed July 9, 2014.
- New guidelines for cervical cancer screening. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/pfs004.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20140719T1123120163. Accessed June 21, 2014.
- Reichman R. Epidemiology of human papillomavirus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 9, 2014.
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- Bolognia JL, et al., eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 9, 2014.
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- HPV vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/vaccine.html. Accessed July 11, 2014.
- Muller LR, et al. Prophylactic papillomavirus vaccines. Clinics in Dermatology. 2014;32:235.
- Crowe E, et al. Effectiveness of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine for the prevention of cervical abnormalities: Case-control study nested within a population based screening programme in Australia. BMJ. 2014;348:g1458.
- Luna J, et al. Long-term follow-up observation of the safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of Gardasil in adult women. PLoS One. 2014;8:e83431.
- Nsouli-Maktabi H, et al. Incidence of genital warts among U.S. service members before and after the introduction of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine. MSMR. 2013;20:17.