A means of examining a genital or anal lesion for the presence of human papillomavirus infection and atypical cells suggestive of cancer. The lesion (e.g., an irregularity on the surface of the uterine cervix or a wart found on the penis) is coated with 5% acetic acid. The epithelium is then examined for a change in color (e.g., from pink or red to white). This color change in the presence of acetic acid suggests a pathologically significant lesion that may require biopsy or other intervention.
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