Positive HPV and negative Pap smear

Dear Ask The Doctor:  What does it mean when your pap test comes back negitave but you tested positive for hpv? i had blood work done does this mean that the hpv is just in my blood and not my cervix? is this a good sign that my body is fighting it off?

Dear Patient:  The Pap smear test focuses in detecting cervical cancer early to give women a greater chance for treatment and cure. A Pap smear can also detect changes in your cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future. Detecting these cells early with a Pap smear is your first step in halting the possible development of cervical cancer. Since your Pap smear was negative, let me reassure you that no suspicious changes have been detected relate to cancer of the cervix.
On the other hand, HPV test is a DNA test usually done at the same time of a Pap smear test that detects the presence of human papillomavirus in cells taken from your cervix. Infection with some types of HPV can lead to the development of genital warts, abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer. A positive HPV result means that you have an HPV virus linked to cervical cancer let me reassure you that this does not mean that you will develop cancer in the future, but your doctor would suggest you to check again in 6 months to a year since most of the HPV infections clear on heir own. If it stays, careful watch for any changes must be done yearly with PAP tests. I hope I cleared your doubt.

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