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Recently Approved HPV Test Finds Cancer-Causing Types 16 and 18, and Another Dozen to Boot

May 3, 2011

In April 2011, the FDA approved a new test that identifies high-risk types of HPV, or the human papillomavirus, the most common sexual infection in the US. Although most people clear the infection on their own, some go on to develop HPV-related disease, such as abnormal cell growth called dysplasia as well as various cancers. People living with HIV who have persistent HPV infection are at a higher risk for dysplasia and both cervical and anal cancers.

The FDA approved the cobas HPV Test based upon results from the ATHENA study of more than 47,000 women. One startling result from the study is that 1 in 10 women who tested positive for HPV 16 and/or 18 by using this test actually had cervical dysplasia despite normal results from routine Pap smears.

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