HPV Testing

Do I have HPV/Genital Warts?

Most patients who carry the HPV virus will show no skin changes or visible warts.

There are over 100 types of HPV which are often categorised into:

Low Risk Types may lead to genital warts (of which types 6 & 11 are most common).

High Risk Types may lead to HPV-associated cancers (of which types 16 & 18 are most common).

Statistics for the UK:

Genital warts treated every year [1]

HPV-associated cancers, in 2015 [2]

How can we help you?

Making sense of the process & tests

Answer your questions

Walk you through the next steps

For Men & Women

Our HPV/Warts Tests

These can be discussed and carried out during your consultation.

If you’re worried about symptoms below and haven’t received a diagnosis, then we recommend a consultation where you will a receive a physical examination.

Option 1: Physical Examination

Description

The most common method of diagnosis for Genital Warts (which is caused by the HPV virus) is a physical examination under excellent illumination and from an experienced professional [1].

There are a range of skin lesions that can be mistaken for genital warts (e.g. )

Please note that this will not tell you the type of HPV you have.

Key Information

Result format:

  • Genital Warts Observed
  • Genital Warts NOT Observed

Time for results
Within consultation

Price
Consultation Fee of £50

Option 2: HPV High Risk DNA Genotyping

Description

This DNA test looks for the HPV high-risk types ONLY.

These are the types of HPV that may cause oropharynx, cervical, vulval, vaginal and anal cancers.

Please note this test is:

  • NOT a diagnosis for Genital Warts
  • NOT only for the genital area
  • NOT a test for cancer
  • NOT only for women

A lab test for only HPV High-Risk DNA types (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, and 82) can be requested with results in 5 working days which costs £210.

Key Information

HPV Types tesed:
16, 18-45

Sample required:

  • Male: Prepucial Swab
 (+ throat swab)
  • Female: (self-taken) High Vaginal Swab
 (+ throat swab)

Time for results
Within 3 hours (1-2 working days in Leicester)

Price
£130

Option 3: HPV DNA Genotyping

Description

This HPV DNA test looks for all the strains of the HPV virus (both low risk and high risk types).

The technology is such, that it may fail to detect more than one type of HPV if a dominant type is present.

Please note this test is:

  • NOT a diagnosis for Genital Warts
  • NOT a test for cancer
  • NOT only for women

Key Information

HPV Types tesed:
Theoretically, all HPV types

Sample required:

  • Male: Prepucial Swab
 (+ throat swab)
  • Female: (self-taken) High Vaginal Swab
 (+ throat swab)

Time for results
Within 5 working days

Price
£210

Option 4: Lab Biopsy

Description

A lab biopsy is recommended when there is diagnostic uncertainty, concern about pre-cancerous or cancerous changes in the skin.

This will also help to look for evidence of other skin conditions which mimic genital warts.

The procedure is done under local anaesthesia by a doctor.

Please note this test is only available if deemed appropriate by your doctor.

Key Information

Tests for:
Microscopic changes due to HPV in the tissue sample and pre-cancerous or cancerous changes in the specimen. 

Sample required:
Skin tissue under local anaesthesia

Time for results
14-21 days

Price
£200 for procedure + £250 for lab test (£450 in total).

What happens next?

This is for general guidance only. 

HPV

NOT Detected: We will provide you with the advice and reassurance you need to move on with your life – this may include discussing of the HPV vaccine and prevention advice.

Detected: We will reassess your skin to look for any suspicious lesions and come up with a follow up plan. Any appropriate referrals will be made.

Genital Warts

NOT Observed: We will provide you with the advice and reassurance you need to move on with your life – this may include discussing of the HPV vaccine and prevention advice.

Observed: We will discuss what this means for you & your partner. Various treatment options can be discussed (including Hyfrecation). If you have opted for an 1-hour long appointment, we can proceed with the hyfrecation procedure, if it is safe to do so.

Understanding HPV-Warts

Sometimes the right information is all you need.

Learn more

Talking to your GP

Let us help you start the conversation.

Learn more

FAQs

Which HPV test do I need?

If you think you have genital warts, then a physical examination and diagnosis are recommended along with professional advice.

A HPV High-Risk DNA test is recommended for women every 3-5 years (this may be in addition to or in lieu of their cervical smear). It may be recommended in men and women under your clinician’s discretion.

A lab biopsy is recommended when there is diagnostic uncertainty, concern about pre-cancerous or cancerous changes in the skin.

Can men also have a HPV DNA test?

Yes, there are methods to test for the HPV DNA in men. This technology has been available for over a decade in various parts of the world. 

You can read some of the studies published documenting the use of HPV DNA testing in men here: Study 1Study 2 and Study 3.

Can I discuss which test is appropriate for me?

Of course. Every test includes a consultation so you can decide what HPV tests you may need, if at all.

Can I have the HPV test in the same appointment as my consultation?

Yes you can, apart from the lab biopsy (which will only be done if clinically appropriate).

Can I get these tests in the NHS?

Yes. Please refer to your local NHS sexual health/GUM clinic for further information.

Sources

[1] BASHH Clinical Effectiveness Group. UK National Guidelines on the Management of Anogenital Warts 2015; Available here (accessed 21 Nov 2019).

[2] Anal cancer foundation. About HPV / HPV & Cancer; Available here (accessed 21 Nov 2019).

If you are experiencing symptoms,

It is important to refer to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Our experience combined with timely detection can help avoid complications in the future.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.