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.
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