The new HPV primary testing?

Hi ladies. 

Regarding the new ways to screen. I want to make sure I understand it... 

so; now they test for HPV first, then if positive they will only then look for changes. 

As far as I understood HPV once you have it you have it forever, it lays dormant when your immune system has cleared it, yet it can resurface whenever. 

Now my query is, say your hpv has been active and creating cell changes for the last 2.5 years, you go for your smear but it’s gone dormant in the past few weeks and so your smear result is hpv negative so the cells aren’t checked. Yet the 2.5 years it was active it was creating cin 2/3 or cc? 

I had cin 3 and hpv positive in 2015, 2 x clear smears since, yet I don’t think I have much faith in just only testing the hpv as it just might be dormant that day? 


Am I missing something:/ 


Following this also, I had my first smear in 2016 and was hpv negative but borderline changes and was told to wait 3 years. Just had my second smear 2 weeks ago waiting results at the moment. Bit concerned if I get borderline changes again x

I'm also concerned about this! It doesn't seem to make much sense?! I think it's a cost cutting exercise because surely to get the most accuracy they would do BOTH HPV testing and cytology on everyone. Perhaps they are relying on people displaying symptoms and then investigating them when it happens rather than screening for it.

Would it be that the abnormal cells stop developing once the HPV is back to negative? And maybe start to clear themselves whilst the HPV isn’t there making it worse.

I agree with you, it is really risky. I know that the CIN would stop getting worse but does CC have a mind of its own once it’s started and doesn’t rely on the HPV to progress? I have no idea but it seems a ridiculous thing! 

Ive been actively involved in taking smears for over 30 years. My area was part of the pilot for using HPV as the initial test on the samples and in my opinion this is a major step forwards just as much as the move to liquid based cytology away from the old wooden spatula and glass slide. The research that raised the concept was done in Canada and is here.

If your high risk HPV free you are safe until your next smear date. high risk HPV and healthy cells then resmear in a year, high risk HPV and any grade of abnormality in the cells even the slightest and you get referred direct to colposcopy by the cytology lab themselves. 3 results of High risk HPV and normal cells and again its straight to colposcopy. 

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My understanding is that HPV will turn dormant if you're body has dealt with the infection? 'Dealing with the infection' being an immune response to the active HPV, turning it dormant; or dealing with the abnormal cells and then the HPV becoming dormant.

The cells change because they're in the presence of HPV and it works this way for all HPV-related cancers. CIN would revert back to healthy cells without *active* HPV present. 

By the time a cancer has developed it's obvious your body isn't clearing the HPV by itself and so it would still be detected at HPV triage. 

There are a few cancers that aren't related to HPV and it is those that are at risk of being undetected. 

Hi. I’ve just had smear results boaderline abnormalities and positive HPV. 


I have made myself sick thinking about it and googling everything has made me feel so much worse. 


Im 25 and in a long term relationship. I’m so scared i’ll Need a biopsy and have to wait for more results or even more scared they’ll find something that needs treatment. I’ve found no clarity on anything after speaking to my gp and still have 4 weeks until my colposcopy. 

Is there a definite I’ll need a biopsy if I’ve been called back? 

I have spoken to several women online who have had abnormal cells found on cytology but have tested negative for HPV. This would never be picked up on the new NHS screening. These women fall through the net and if and when the cancer develops it will be in the later stages before it is picked up on.

Why are the NHS not doing both HPV checks and cytology checks on every screening as standard?

If it is too expensive to do both, then why are they not offering the option and education for women to understand this issue and have HPV testing and cytology screening privately if they so wish?


They should be co-testing, but hpv test is £9, and to perform cytology on it is a further £18 - they think it will save 13mil but as radiotherapy costs around 19k pp, even looking at it from a costs perspective it seems stupid. (If anyones interested, message me for the research paper with costs)


I don't quite have the patience for people that say its for the greater good, I wouldn't have made it to my 30th birthday.

Copy and paste job below x


Last year, PHE and the government rolled out a huge change to the cervical screening programme. They are now only testing women for cell changes, IF they first test positive for HPV. If HPV negative, women will be sent away for 3 years.


Had my test been this year, they would have missed my severe CGIN and stage 1b1 endocervical adenocarcinoma. Under the new guidelines, I would have been sent away for three years.


I was 24 and it was my first routine smear test, so it's worrying that other HPV negative women will not be tested for cell changes. I only discovered these changes a few weeks ago, when I was told it would now affect my follow up appointments. We are now campaigning for PHE and the government to consider HPV negative women, that will now not be as lucky as I was.


This started off as a petition but as I'm not hopeful of the governent response (if any) - I've decided I'm in this for the long haul, for this issue, under 25s with symptoms being refused early smear tests, and the similar scenarios for breast and bowel cancer screenings. Give me a shout if you want to get involved, need all the help I can get!

Write to your health board and NHS England/Scotland or whoever saying this.

This is a very dangerous and untrue statement to make.

Each wild statement you made in your post about consent, the ability to sue, breaking the law and killing people with no consequence.

I’ve simply flagged your post for the moderators to take a look at. Insults don’t bother me.

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