How does the HPV test work?
The HPV test is simple and quick to use. Unlike cervical screening tests, you do not need to use a speculum or take samples from deep inside your cervix. However, you should still also have smear tests as this test does not replace the need for a smear.
How to use the HPV home test kit
The HPV home test kit will come with an information leaflet which has detailed instructions on how to take the sample and post it.
The process should only take a few minutes, and involves inserting the swab provided inside your vagina, to collect the sample for testing.
After taking the sample, you should seal it up and put it in the postage pack provided and send it to our partner laboratory. Your results should be ready within 7 working days of the laboratory receiving your sample.
How accurate is the HPV test?
The HPV test uses molecular diagnostic testing to identify the virus. This uses advanced molecular genetics technology to identify the HPV DNA load in the sample, making it one of the most accurate tests available to identify HPV.
What types does the HPV test check for?
This HPV test checks for the high-risk virus types which could cause cervical cancers. The two most common high-risk types tested by our test kit are types 16 and 18.
These are the cause of most HPV-related cancers. The test also tests for other high risk strains: HPV 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, 69, 73 and 82.
This may be a wider range of strains than the NHS will test for. If you are unsure if your NHS service will act on any positive results from this test, please speak to your GP or practise nurse first.
Can men use a HPV test?
There is currently no reliable HPV test for men, though specialist clinics may offer them. Most HPV tests are available to women because of the virus's role in causing cervical cancer. Whereas, regular HPV testing is not currently recommended for identifying abnormalities that can lead to anal, penile, or throat cancers in men.
Men who have sex with men can get an anal pap test, which checks for pre-canceorus cells in the anus. This includes testing for high risk strains of HPV present in the anus. This helps to identify abnormal cells, so they can be removed before they develop into cancer.
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