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Mar 18, 1997

I recently had an abnormal PAP smear. My gynecologist told me that HPV could be a cause of this, and I went in for a Colposcopy. The biopsies the doctor took were not abnormal. Does this mean that I don't have HPV?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. This is a question that you need to ask your doctor directly. Sometimes a PAP smear will pick up HPV infection, other times not. There are multiple causes of "abnormal" PAP smears. They can be due to HPV or other causes. This is why biopsies/colposcopies are done after an abnormal PAP smear. You would need to ask your doctor whether HPV was detected in the follow-up tests or not.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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