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Many people become infected with HPV and are unaware of it. These individuals may not suffer any adverse effects, but could nonetheless spread the infection to a partner during intercourse. For some, it can be a good idea to have routine HPV tests in order to screen for the presence of this virus.




Both men and women can benefit from having an HPV blood test. This test requires only a small vial of blood to be drawn and then sent to a laboratory for analysis. An HPV blood test works by detecting the presence of DNA viral fragments in the bloodstream. Before having this test administered, patients are normally required to fast for around 12 hours. Certain medications can interfere with test results, so those who are planning to have their blood drawn should inform their physicians as to any prescriptions they are currently taking.




This is an advanced method of screening for the presence of human pappilomavirus. It is used to screen cervical cells that are obtained during a routine pap smear. When the results of this pap smear prove inconclusive, this test is then used to examine cells more closely. The results are amazingly accurate, as one study showed the test was able to identify 100% of women with cervical cancer as opposed to only 58% of women who only had a routine pap analysis. As a result, more and more doctors are recommending this test be performed in addition to regular pap smears for their female patients.




This test is similar to a vaginal pap smear but can be performed on both men and women. A physician will use a swab to obtain cells from the anus and then have them analyzed in a laboratory. This procedure takes only a few minutes to complete, and the results can be known within three to four days in most cases. The results of this test can be used to detect the presence of anal cancer or certain strains of the HPV virus that is known to cause this disease.




Patients of both genders should have a blood test to test for the presence of HPV if they have had intercourse with a number of people. They may also want to have one of these tests if they have a partner who has previously engaged in intercourse with multiple partners. Gay or bisexual men are more apt to contract anal cancer than any other group of people, which means they need to have anal pap smears on an annual basis. All women who are at least 18 years of age or older should have annual pap smears; however, those who are at least 30 years of age may want to also include the Digene HPV test along with this routine examination.

Recent advances in technology have made it possible to detect dangerous strains of HPV sooner. This is good news because those who carry this virus can be treated quickly, thereby reducing their odds of developing any of the cancers that can result from certain strains.


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