Dr. Diane Harper - Could I have human papillomavirus (HPV) even if my pap test was normal?

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The Pap test shows us changes within the cell, that HPV has caused. But it doesn't tell us if you have an HPV infection. What the HPV test allows us to do is to find the HPV, that's sitting in your cell before it causes any changes that we could find on the pap smear.So you could very low have a normal pap smear, normal cells that do have HPV inside of them but the HPV is not causing them any damage at this point.

The HPV test will be able to pick up that HPV infection in those cells, and your doctor will just ask you to come back yearly to check to see what that HPV infection is doing, just to make sure that it is going one of those that does go away and doesn't stick around to cause the cancer.