The possibility of dispersing viral deoxyribonucleic acid during carbon dioxide laser treatment of human papillomavirus-containing genital infections has been investigated with a commercially available dot blot hybridization technique. The viral ribonucleic acid probes were specific for groups of human papillomavirus types 6/11, 16/18, and 31/33/35. Laser energy was delivered by continuous-wave mode and the plume of smoke was evacuated by a vacuum suction system. Samples were taken with Dacron swabs from lesional tissues of 43 patients as well as from the treated areas and from the 5 cm surrounding normal skin before and after laser vaporization. Human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid was identified in swabs from 34 of 43 (79%) lesional tissues and 7 of 43 (16%) treatment fields. Although a trend for higher human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid positivity in laser margins after therapy (7/43, 16%) than before (4/43, 9%) was observed, the rates were not statistically significant. It is concluded that carbon dioxide laser energy disperses human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid onto treatment fields and the adjacent normal epithelium. Viral contamination of treated areas may be reduced by positioning the fume evacuator within 1 cm of the field of laser vaporization and cleaning the treated areas and surrounding tissue after therapy.