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Diagnosing HPV

How to Find Out If You Have HPV

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Updated May 20, 2014

One of the best ways a woman can find out if they are infected by HPV is through a Pap smear. A pap smear can detect any changes in the cervix that may be caused by an HPV infection.

Prior to the Pap smear, the gynecologist may visually exam the vagina to look for genital warts, which are a symptom of HPV. Genital warts can usually be diagnosed by sight.

An HPV test is available and is normally performed on women over age 30 or to women who have had abnormal Pap smears. The test is done with a regular Pap smear. The test will identify if HPV was the cause of the abnormal Pap smear.

Men may be able to tell if they have HPV by the appearance of genital warts on the ir penis, scrotum, thighs, groin, or in and around the anus. Currently, there is no medical test to find out if men are infected.

Keep in mind that most people who have HPV never know they have it. There are hundreds of strains of the HPV virus and only a few strains are linked to cancer.

Source:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Genital Warts</sub></i>

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