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Persistent infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the principal cause of cervical cancer and its precursor cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The presence of HPV has been implicated in greater than 99% of cervical cancers, worldwide.  There are more than 118 different types of HPV and approximately 40 different HPVs that can infect the human anogenital mucosa. However, only a subset of 13 to 18 of these types is considered high-risk for the development of cervical cancer and its precursor lesions.

Test at a glance

Clinical Utility
Molecular testing for HPV can be used as a follow-up to abnormal changes detected in Pap tests of women 30 to 65 years of age.
Healthcare provider needs to collect the sample (before colposcopy if performed) and fill out a specialized requisition form.
Patient payment

Patients will be invoiced for the cost testing. Invoice payments can be made online by patients on the link below:

Other payment options are also available on this link.

HPV Supplies

Supplies are those of the SurePath Pap and can be ordered from LifeLabs.

For BC

Health care providers may order supplies through our Courier Department

  • Lower mainland and BC Region  604-412-4481 (Option #1 for supplies)
  • Vancouver Island 1-250-881-3111 ext 72124 or fax 1-250-727-0344
Patient instructions
Turnaround Time
​Test results will be available within two weeks.

The HPV Test is a Patient Pay Test with a list price of $90.00 per test. This test is not currently covered by provincial health plans, but may be covered by the patient’s private insurance.

Healthcare Professional Information

​What is Being Tested?

The HPV molecular test detects the genetic material of the high-risk types of HPV associated with incidence of cancer. In our laboratory, testing detects the presence of 14 high risk HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68 using PCR amplification technique.
A positive result for any of the high-risk types can be closely monitored for any pre-cancerous conditions. A negative test for high-risk HPV can provide peace of mind that the patient is at lower risk for developing cervical cancer.

Training Videos for Sample Collection with BD SurePath® Kit:

The SurePath Pap collection method is used to obtain the specimen for HPV testing.

Patient Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

How is it used?

HPV testing can be used to refine the management of women over the age of 30 years with ASCUS atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (

What does the test result mean?

The HPV test result is reported as:
HPV RESULT: Positive or Negative
Results for genotypes 16 and 18 are reported individually as Detected or Not Detected
The other High Risk genotypes (31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68) are reported collectively as Detected or Not Detected
If the HPV DNA test is negative, it is unlikely that there is a high-risk HPV infection. If the Pap test is abnormal but the HPV DNA test is negative, then routine screening as per age specific guidelines is recommended. If the Pap test is normal but the HPV DNA test is positive, then follow-up (colposcopy or repeat cytology) is recommended depending on the HPV results.

Is there a charge for the test?

This test is largely not covered by the provincial health insurance plans, but it may be covered by patient’s extended health insurance plan. Contact us to find out about the current fee for the test.

Is there anything else I should know?

Although very rare, a pregnant woman may pass HPV to her baby during vaginal delivery, resulting in warts in the throat or voice box. (laryngeal papillomatosis or recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, RRP) There are HPV vaccines available in Canada which can help prevent HPV infections and therefore the diseases associated with some of the most prevalent high risk HPV strains 3, 4.


  1. Saslow D., Solomon D., Herschel WL., et al American Cancer Society, American Society for colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology Screening guidelines for Prevention and Early Detection of Cervical Cancer. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2012 July;16(3):175-204
  2. Cervical cancer screening with the HPV test and the Pap test in women ages 30 and older , CDC website
  3. Brotherton JM, and Gertig DM. Primary prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccination programs: future perspective on global impact. (2011, August). Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy. Expert Reviews Ltd.. 9(8):627-39. (PMID: 21819329).
  4. Eggertson L. Provinces weighing HPV vaccination of boys. (2012, February 27). CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). (Reviewed Edition). Ottawa: Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Epub ahead of print. (PMID: 22371513).

Additional Resources

Healthcare Provider Resources

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