More than 150 different types of HPV have been identified. Not all HPV types are harmful. Most types are considered “low-risk”. However, 14 HPV types are “high-risk” because they are known to cause almost all cervical cancers.
HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the two highest risk types of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer. Together, they cause about 70% of all cervical cancers.
Yes, however many tests offer only a yes/no answer for all high-risk HPV types combined, which include HPV 16 and HPV 18. So a positive test result from these tests only indicates if you have an infection from any one of the high-risk HPV types, and will not report the results for the highest risk HPV 16 and HPV 18 separately. The cobas® HPV Test from Roche gives separate results for HPV 16 and HPV 18 in addition to a group of 12 other high-risk HPV types together, to provide you and your doctor more information on your risk of cervical cancer. It is helpful to get the results for HPV 16 and HPV 18 separately, so you will know if you have one of the highest risk types.