How to Avoid a False Positive HPV Test

A false positive HPV test results in the wrong diagnosis. The doctor or laboratory can miss the bad cells or misread the HPV infection. The result can cause delays in further tests and procedures. You may be concerned because you had just been vaccinated but have never been exposed to the virus. Fortunately, the good news is that there are methods to avoid a false positive result. Here are three examples of HPV tests that can lead to wrong diagnoses.

The first mistake women make is to think the test is wrong

The first mistake that women make is thinking that the test is incorrect. A false positive HPV test is caused by the inclusion of HPV66. Luckily, there are newer tests available that can identify the wrong HPV. You may want to start with a simple Pap smear as a first step in identifying your risk for cervical cancer. This is the only way to be sure.


The HPV test is similar to the Pap smear. A speculum is used to reach the cervix and scrape the cervical canal to collect a sample. A special laboratory instrument detects abnormal cells and the presence of the HPV virus. The HPV test is more sensitive than a Pap smear, and it is more effective at detecting cancer-causing HPV.

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