On December 1st a five-yearly Cervical Screening Test replaces the previous two-yearly Pap smear test. This test screens for the presence of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer. This screening strategy is more effective and just as safe as the Pap smear program.
Women who have previously had a Pap smear should arrange their first cervical screening test when they are next due for a Pap test - this is usually at two-yearly intervals if they have had normal results previously.
Women who have ever been sexually active should start screening at 25 years of age and continue, every five years, until they are 74,