As with any screening test, an HPV test carries the risk of false-positive or false-negative results.

  • False-positive. A false-positive test result indicates that you have a high-risk type of HPV when you really don't. A false-positive result could lead to an unnecessary follow-up procedure, such as colposcopy or biopsy, and undue anxiety over the test results.
  • False-negative. A false-negative test result means you really do have an HPV infection, but the test indicates that you don't. This might cause a delay in appropriate follow-up tests or procedures.
May. 15, 2012