Clinical Guidelines


Cervical cancer screening

Women undergoing exit testing

Clinical question

GUIDELINE UPDATES - This guideline was last updated 7/1/2022


The HPV test is significantly more sensitive than cytology for the detection of cervical abnormalities caused by HPV infection, and a single HPV test for which oncogenic HPV is not detected is considered sufficient to safely discharge women from the NCSP.[1] 

MSAC has recommended that women between the ages of 70 and 74 years can cease 5 yearly screening after a HPV test at which oncogenic HPV is not detected.[1]


MSAC evidence-based recommendation

REC6.22: Women aged 70–74 years in whom oncogenic HPV is not detected (exit testing)
Women can be discharged from the NCSP if they are aged 70–74 years and have a screening test at which oncogenic HPV is not detected. 

Note: recommendation numbering changed Feb 2021, this was previously REC 6.16

Consensus-based recommendation

REC6.23: Referral of women aged 70–74 years with a positive oncogenic HPV screening test result (exit testing)
Women aged 70–74 who have a positive oncogenic HPV (any type) screening test result should be referred directly for colposcopic assessment, which should be informed by the result of LBC. If the sample was collected by a healthcare provider, then the laboratory will perform reflex LBC. If the sample was self-collected , then a cervical sample for LBC should be collected at the time of colposcopy. 

Note: recommendation numbering changed Feb 2021, this was previously REC 6.17


  1. Medical Services Advisory Committee. MSAC Outcomes. Application No. 1276 – Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program. [homepage on the internet] Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health; 2014 [updated 2015 Apr]. Available from:$File/1276%20-%20Final%20MSAC%20PSD%20-%20NCSP%20Renewal.pdf.

WEBSITE UPDATES - This website was last updated 7/1/2022

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