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Cervical Screening Update 2021

Nurse collecting pap smear

An important update regarding cervical screening testing in Australia comes into effect on February 1, 2021. The update is significant for women at intermediate risk and details of the changes to the screening program can be found here.

Essentially, the new guidelines now recommend that women with a 12-month follow up HPV (not-16/18) result, with LBC prediction negative, pLSIL or LSIL (intermediate risk result) should undertake a further HPV follow up test in 12 months’ time; following their previous HPV test; instead of referral to colposcopy. 

There are some exceptions to the above guideline: 

  • Initial screening test was overdue for >2 yrs 
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent 
  • Age 50 years or older 

These recommendations have been made after data review shows the likelihood of high-grade abnormalities (CIN2/3) is low in this group of women. 

With this update many women can be safely followed up with reduced numbers of colposcopies.  

Your Create Health Gynaecologist can advise if this update applies to you. 


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