Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Result HPV RT-PCR


2 months ago I have penis small red spots, the doctor told only inflammation usually go away after 4-5 weeks, I learned about gentinal wart and fear of disease, but I don't have sex, there is no risk. I went to the hospital A for testing HPV Genotyping 6/11, result positive HPV type 11. I do not believe in results. I went to the hospital B two times against HPV tests, all results were negative. After 2 results Negative, I return to the hospital A retest HPV 6/11, finally back to negative. All of them use the method "RT-PCR" with "Urethra Swab" sample, I don't had sex, and red spot had disappeared after 4-5 weeks.
So the first positive results are false-positives?

Hello Hung,
Tough to say. Option one, is that the specimen from you was contaminated from another specimen, possibly from bad lab technique or error. Option two, is that the virus was there, but ABSENT from the second specimen. In other words, the sampling technique may have not acquired the virus, and it came out negative.  Note, that you had a urethral swab, but the virus usually affects the skin of the penis or genitals, not usually the urethra, which is the tube draining urine and semen (but sometimes warts and HPV do infect that mucous membrane).  Option 3, is your body's immune system actually cleared the virus, so that none were present at the time of the final test.  

The reason why it wasn't likely to be a false positive, is that the PCR test is a DNA amplification test designed to find segments of HPV virus and if found, the test is considered positive.  It is more likely to have a false negative than a false positive with these types of amplification tests.  

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck,

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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