Cervical cancer is third in incidence and fourth in mortality among cancers of women worldwide. Epidemiological studies have shown that human papillomavirus (HPV) is necessary, if not sufficient, to cause nearly 100% of cervical cancers. HPV testing is useful in primary screening for cervical neoplasms. The value of HPV detection or genotyping is potentially useful in triage of borderline or low-grade abnormal cervical cytology, follow-up after treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, assessment of prognosis and treatment planning for invasive cervical cancer. Studies from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital have defined the genotype distribution of cervical cancer in Taiwan and confirmed the independent prognostic value of the HPV genotype in cervical cancer. The cost-effectiveness of using HPV testing in prevention and management of cervical neoplasms depends on the medical and public health infrastructure of the individual country. The population-based HPV prevalence and genotype distribution as well as longitudinal follow-up studies have established strong support for incorporating HPV testing with cervical cytology and for future comparisons of HPV epidemiology before and after implementation of HPV prophylactic vaccines in Taiwan. Future directions in HPV research are discussed.