There are no products in your shopping cart.
For women and people with a cervix, there is a test for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). Doing an HPV test as well as looking for changes to cervical cells (abnormalities) helps show who is at higher risk of developing cervical cancer. It means those who need it will have further tests more quickly, while reassuring those who have low risk of cervical cancer.
Your experience during an HPV test will be the same as your current cervical screening (smear test) appointment. The only difference is that the sample of cells taken from your cervix is tested for HPV, instead of looking for abnormalities.
There are 3 reasons why you may have an HPV test:
HPV primary screening is a type of test done on the sample of cells taken at your cervical screening (smear test) appointment. It is sometimes called HPV primary testing.
It means your cells will be tested for high-risk HPV first, instead of changes to your cells (abnormalities). Your appointment and how the test is done will stay exactly the same.
HPV primary screening will be introduced:
It is a more accurate way of identifying who may be more at risk of developing cervical abnormalities or cervical cancer.
Once HPV primary screening starts, HPV triage (see below) will no longer be used.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, HPV testing is used if cervical screening shows low-grade abnormalities (low-grade dyskaryosis). This is usually called HPV triage:
Once HPV primary screening begins (see above), HPV triage will no longer be used.
In the UK, HPV testing is also used to show treatment for cervical abnormalities has been successful. This is called test of cure. It is done at the first appointment after treatment, which is usually after six months:
At least one type of HPV test is used everywhere in the UK. Not all HPV tests are currently available in every part of the UK.
Type of HPV test
HPV primary screening
From September 2018
To be confirmed
Test of cure
There is currently no HPV test for men, as the result would not help the management or treatment of any related condition.
We have more information about test of cure and HPV primary screening. Our Cervical screening (smear test) and HPV booklets also have more information that you may find helpful.
HPV and the different tests for it can be complicated to understand, but if you want to talk things through you can call our Helpline on 0808 802 8000. Or you may want to use our Ask the Expert service, where medical professionals will answer your questions.