From the 1st of May 2017 the traditional two yearly pap smear will be replaced with a five year HPV test. HPV is the Human Papilloma Virus that seems to be the cause of most Cervical Cancers. Together with the HPV vaccine (which is given to school children in year 7) this test will reduce the number of cervical cancers by at least 15%. This test is similar to a pap smear, but will be done much less often.
This test will be offered to all women from the age 25-74 years. This is not meant to replace a clinical assessment +/- HPV or pap testing in women of any age who have symptoms (such as pain and bleeding).
Between now and 2017 it is important that women continue to participate in the existing 2-year pap test. Cancer of the Cervix is still expected to be diagnosed in 885 females in 2016 and 250 females will die from this condition.
This new screening process will keep our country at the forefront of Cervical Cancer Prevention.