DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
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.
- 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 Jan. 17, 2012.
- Thinking about testing for HPV? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_Thinking_About_Testing_for_HPV.asp?sitearea=&level=. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Human papillomavirus: HPV information for clinicians. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/common-clinicians/ClinicianBro-fp.pdf. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Sirovich BE, et al. Screening for cervical cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Solomon D, et al. Statement on HPV DNA test utilization. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease. 2009;13:135.
- Bosch FX. Human papillomavirus: Science and technologies for the elimination of cervical cancer. Expert Opinion Pharmacotherapy. 2011;12:2189.