Changes to Cervical Screening

On December 1, 2017, cervical cancer screening in Australia changed from two-yearly Pap testing to five-yearly HPV testing.

Please select from the relevant option below for information on the changes. 

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IMPORTANT UPDATE

Self-collected HPV test will not be available until further notice

 The self-collected HPV test is a new addition to the cervical screening program and requires thorough validation of the collection and testing methods prior to being offered to eligible women.

The Department of Health engaged a reference laboratory to conduct this rigorous validation process, however this has not yet been completed. Please refer to the following official notice from the National Cervical Screening Program.

 

Self-collection of samples should not be offered to women until further notice.

One of the components of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is the introduction of self-collected samples for HPV testing. The self-collection option has been included in the program to encourage women who are aged 30 years or over and have never had a screening test, or who are overdue for testing by at least two years and in either case have declined a healthcare provider-collected sample, to participate in cervical screening. 

However, self-collection can only be implemented when the laboratory and platform testing processes and equipment attain the various accreditation requirements. This process is still underway. Laboratories are not yet accredited to perform the test and therefore the test is not claimable against the MBS.

Healthcare providers who conduct cervical screening tests are advised not to offer self-collection to eligible women until further notice.

Further information on the Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program is available at www.cancerscreening.gov.au/cervical.