Diagnosis

How do I know if I have got HPV?

HPV is very common and most of us will have an HPV infection at some point in our lives.

The HPV virus is good at "hiding" and a person usually won't know if they have or have not got HPV. Being a carrier of HPV without any symptoms is common and normal as the majority of people with HPV don't know they have it.

A person will know if they have HPV if they have visible genital warts or if they have an abnormal cervical smear.

There are tests for HPV but these tests are limited in which HPV types they test for.

HPV can be tested for in conjuntion with a cervical smear. The purpose of this test is to help the doctor in further management decisions on abnormal cervical smear results.

The HPV test that is done in conjunction with cervical smears only tests for HPV 16, 18 and several other high-risk HPV types. HPV tests are geared to high-risk types only and do not include all the types of HPV.

Unfortunately, there is no test for HPV in either males or females that will test for all the types of HPV. This means that HPV testing as part of a sexual health check (routine check up) at the doctors/clinic cannot be done.

 

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