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 (www.cancercare.on.ca/screenforlife)
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.
- 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
- Cervical cancer screening with the HPV test and the Pap test in women ages 30 and older , CDC website www.cdc.gov/hpv
- 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).
- 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).