0 Items £0.00

Benefits of HPV primary screening

Using HPV triage and test of cure, in addition to cytology, means that fewer follow-up tests are needed; reducing the number of repeat cervical screenings that a woman needs to have [1]. Research has shown that testing first for high-risk HPV and then following with cytology (to check if there are any cervical abnormalities) could reduce the number of follow-up tests that women would need to go for even further [2].

Furthermore, research also shows that a negative HPV primary screening result (no high-risk HPV has been found) is a more reliable sign that a woman will not go on to develop cervical abnormalities than a ‘normal’ cytology result is. This means that in the future, with HPV primary screening, there could be a longer gap between cervical screening appointments, making them fewer and further between [3].

It is estimated that, when fully implemented, HPV primary screening could prevent an additional 487 cases of cervical cancer a year [4].



  1. Kitchener HC, 2015. HPV primary cervical screening: time for a change. Cytopathology 26, 4–6.
  2. Castanon A et al., 2013. How much could primary human papillomavirus testing reduce cervical cancer incidence and morbidity? Journal of Medical Screening 2013, 1–5.
  3. Kitchener HC et al., 2009. ARTISTIC: a randomised trial of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in primary cervical screening. Health Technology Assessment 13(51) 1–164.
  4. Castanon A et al., 2016. By how much could screening by primary human papillomavirus testing reduce cervical cancer incidence in England? Journal of Medical Screening (Epub ahead of print).
Date last updated: 
07 Jul 2016
Date due for review: 
08 Jul 2019

Have a question? Need to talk?

Our helpline is currently closed, find out when it’s next open.

Or submit your question via our Ask the Expert online service

Rate the information on this page

When you click on an answer below, your vote will be submitted automatically. We do also ask that you please submit a comment and click ‘send feedback’ to provide comment about our information.

Do you feel more informed after reading this information?
Did the information make you feel reassured/supported?
Rate this page
You voted: . Total votes: 352. Average rating: 3.01