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How can I be tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV)?

The greatest risk factor associated with cervical cancer is an infection with some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infections are very common and are a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Although not recommended for all women, there is a test that can be done to see if you have an HPV infection. When a Pap test is performed your healthcare provider collects some extra cells and may test them for the virus. The results will tell you if you have an HPV infection or not, but not which type. You may discuss with your healthcare provider the significance of the test.

The HPV test will only tell you if you have an HPV infection, not cervical cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.