Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been implicated strongly with human cervical, anal and penile cancers. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect HPV in cervical specimens of 88 women working at the public whorehouse. Using consensus primers which encode the L1 region of the HPV genome, the presence of HPV DNA was demonstrated in 2 specimens. Restriction endonuclease digestion of the amplified products was carried out for accurate typing. Samples which were positive by L1 PCR were digested with Hae III, BstN I and Dde I restriction enzymes. The patterns produced by digestion were identified as HPV types 6b and 16.