The Cervical Screening Test changed on 1 December 2017 to improve early detection and save more lives.
All women aged between 25 and 74 years are now invited to have a Cervical Screening Test every five years, instead of a Pap test every two years.
The Cervical Screening Test detects HPV infection. HPV is a key risk factor in the development of cervical cancer. Even if you are vaccinated against HPV you need to participate in regular cervical screening.
Making a good program even better
Since Australia's National Cervical Screening Program was introduced in 1991, the rate of cervical cancer cases and deaths in Australian women has halved.
The Cervical Screening Test is more effective than, and just as safe as, screening with a Pap test every two years. In fact, the renewed program is expected to reduce cervical cancer rates and deaths by at least another 20%.
In Australia we also have an HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine (Gardasil) program. Australian children aged 12 to 13 are offered the free HPV vaccine through school-based programs. The vaccine is free for everyone aged 12-25 under the National Immunisation Program. This is helping reduce the risk of cervical cancer in our younger generations.
With a Cervical Screening Test and our vaccination program, our chances of preventing and finding cervical cancer are even better.