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Why has Cervical Screening Wales changed routine screening invitation to five yearly for everyone?

The UK National Screening Committee has recommended that cervical screening programmes invite all people with a cervix, aged between 25 and 64 every five years once they have tested negative for HPV.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer. In 2018, Cervical Screening Wales introduced screening using HPV testing. This test is more effective at identifying people at higher risk of developing cell changes which can cause cervical cancer.

Evidence shows that it is safe to extend the time between cervical screening (smear) tests for people who do not have HPV. Cervical Screening Wales made this change from 1st January 2022.

This change applies to people whose next routine screening result shows that they do not have HPV. This means their risk of developing cervical cancer within the next five years is very low.

We will look at the cells if high-risk HPV is found in a cervical screening sample. Follow-up for these individuals may be different depending on their test results.
Click here for more information about your results and HPV.