Cervical HPV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common viral infections of the reproductive tract.  Experts estimate that over 20 million Americans are currently infected. Most sexually active women and men will be infected at some point in their lives and some may be repeatedly infected.  Most women with HPV will not develop cervical cancer.  However, if HPV infection is persistent, there is a greater chance of developing cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer.  Some women infected with higher risk or more aggressive genital HPV types can develop cervical cancer, if not treated.

In most cases, the HPV virus is harmless and has no symptoms.  However, an HPV infection may cause changes in the cervical cells, which are identified in a Pap test.  Left untreated,  these changes can lead to cervical cancer.  Low risk, non-cancer causing types of HPV can also appear as visible genital warts.

Signs of HPV infection can appear weeks, months, or even years after initial infection, so it is possible to become infected  without being aware of it. Also, women infected during their teenage years may show no cervical cell changes until their thirties or forties, or may not develop any abnormality at all.  Again, most of the time, HPV infections do not cause any noticeable signs to the infected person.

Sample Reports:

HPV High Risk Virus

Roche Cobas HPV

 Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/hpv

https://www.ashastd.org