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'Virus-negative' genital warts reveal new HPV strains

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

'Virus-negative' genital warts reveal new strains of HPV

A new study conducted by Elsevier discovered a possible means of detecting previously unknown types of human papillomavirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and it can infect various areas of the body. An HPV infection often results in genital warts, but it can cause cervical and other types of cancer, as well.

The study noted that standard STD testing by a physician can lead to a misdiagnosis or negative result, referred to as virus-negative warts. The study's authors examined the DNA of samples taken from 40 patients who were shown to have this kind of outbreak. They found that multiple subjects actually did have HPV DNA in their warts.

Researchers said that this increases the complications surrounding testing for HPV, as it appears that virus-negative warts can contain almost untraceable amounts of viruses that are so distantly related that they go undetected. The viruses are previously unknown HPV types and are harbored in what were thought to be the virus-negative genital warts.

The report said that traditional means of testing may need to be altered in order to better diagnose the 23 newly discovered strains of HPV.

Who should get an STD test?
The Mayo Clinic noted that anyone who is or has been sexually active should look into getting an STD test. While one option is to visit your physician, it is less expensive to visit an independent laboratory, which can provide anonymous services. The CDC recommends STD testing at least once for those between the ages of 13 and 64, and annual tests for those who are at a higher risk for HIV.

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