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Infectious Diseases

Can (HPV) be detected thru a blood test

06/23/2000

Question:

Hi. Is their any physical tests that can be taken for a male, such as blood test, to determine if the male has Human Pappaloma Virus (HPV), this lady i am with, her ex boyfriend said he took a blood test & doctor said it would show if he has hpv or not. it came up negative, and im 100% sure it was not me, since haven`t been with another woman.

Answer:

Infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can lead to warts. Infections with HPVs are spread by contact. The most frequently discussed disease caused by HPV is external genital warts (considered to be a sexually transmitted infection). But other types of warts are also caused by HPV. The external genital warts are of concern because there is an association with certain types of HPV and the presence of cervical cancer in women. Physical "tests" can be done to look for evidence of infection with HPV. However, none of these tests is foolproof at diagnosing (or disproving) infection. These tests apply to any infection caused by HPV whether is be genital warts, plantar warts or "common" warts. The most commonly used test for this is a physical examination by a professional. This can be done with a family doctor or a specialist (dermatologist for non-genital skin lesions on both genders, urologist for male genital lesions or gynecologist for female genital lesions). Large lesions can be seen by anyone, but the professionals have equipment that allow analysis of very small, unnoticeable lesions. Many lesions, especially most cases of external genital warts, can be diagnosed by an experienced professional without use of other tests. If lesions are present, they may be removed and sent to a special laboratory for analysis to verify that it actually contains the HPV, or in special circumstances it can be sent to look for different types of HPV. However, most laboratories will only analyze the specimen to the point of verifying that it was indeed a wart (and not a skin cancer or other lesion). Should you want further testing done on any lesions that are removed, you should discuss that with your doctor at the time that they are removed. Blood tests for evidence of HPV infection are not routinely done. Sex partners of persons with external genital warts should be examined for presence of warts because they can be considered as sexually transmitted infections. But, there have been studies done revealing some couples (where both sex partners are infected with HPV) have different types of HPV present. This would indicate that even though both partners are infected, one partner cannot be assumed to be the source of the other`s HPV infection.

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Response by:

Stephen   Kralovic, MD Stephen Kralovic, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati