The human papillomavirus (HPV) test detects the presence of human papillomavirus, a virus that can lead to the development of genital warts, abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer.
Your doctor might recommend the HPV test if:
- Your Pap test was abnormal, showing atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS)
- You're age 30 or older
The HPV test is available only to women; no HPV test yet exists to detect the virus in men. However, men can be infected with HPV and pass the virus along to their sex partners.
March 27, 2015
- Making sense of your Pap and HPV test results. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/pap/default.htm. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- HPV and HPV testing. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/infectiousagents/hpv/hpvandhpvtesting/index. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Human papillomavirus: Genital HPV infection fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/STD/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Palefsky JM. Epidemiology of human papillomavirus infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 2, 2015.
- Pap test fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.hhs.gov/opa/reproductive-health/general-reproductive-health/pap-test. Accessed March 3, 2015.
- Pap and HPV testing. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/cervical/pap-hpv-testing-fact-sheet. Accessed March 3, 2015.
- Laughlin-Tommaso SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Rochester, Minn. March 13, 2015.
- Algorithms: Updated consensus guidelines for managing abnormal cervical cancer screening tests and cancer precursors. American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. http://www.asccp.org. Accessed March 13, 2015.
- Cervical cancer prevention and early detection. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/moreinformation/cervicalcancerpreventionandearlydetection/cervical-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-cervical-cancer-screening-guidelines. Accessed March 13, 2015.