Human papillomavirus testing in cervical cancer screening

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2013 Jun;40(2):377-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2013.03.002. Epub 2013 Apr 6.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is more reliable and sensitive but less specific than Papanicolaou (Pap) testing/cervical cytology for the detection of cervical precancer and cancer. HPV-negative women are at lower risk of cervical cancer than Pap-negative women. In high-resource settings, HPV testing can be used to make cervical cancer prevention programs more efficient by focusing clinical attention on women who have HPV. In lower-resource settings, where Pap testing has not been sustained or widespread, new, lower-cost HPV tests may make cervical cancer screening feasible.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology
  • Colposcopy
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Human Papillomavirus DNA Tests
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / trends
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines