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National Cervical Screening Program

About the program

On 1 December 2017 a 5 yearly Cervical Screening Test was introduced to replace the 2 yearly Pap test.

This test detects human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that can cause changes in the cells of the cervix. Evidence suggests that screening for HPV every 5 years is more effective, and just as safe as screening with a Pap test every 2 years. The cervical screening test is expected to protect up to 30% more women.

Women will be invited to start cervical screening from the age of 25 and continue screening until they are 74. Women aged 25-74 years with a normal screening history should have their first Cervical Screening Test 2 years after their last Pap test.

For women under 25 years of age with a normal screening history, it is safe to wait until the age of 25 years to have their first Cervical Screening Test.

Information and resources for health professionals

There are a range of information and resources available for health professionals including:

Information and resources for consumers

The National Cervical Screening Program also has a range of resources for consumers.

National Cancer Screening Register

Under national legislation the Queensland Health Pap Smear Register has transitioned its data and reminder/follow up functions to the National Cancer Screening Register. This means that complete cervical screening histories will be available from the National Cancer Screening Register - please call 1800 627 701 on business days 8am-6pm.

For more information on the National Cancer Screening Register visit the National Cancer Screening Register website, which includes more information for health professionals and women.

Key contacts

If you would like to find out more about the National Cervical Screening Program and how the program works in Australia please call 1800 627 701.

For more information about the National Cervical Screening Register, including screening histories, please call 1800 627 701.

If English is not your first language and you need help, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50. It will cost the same as a local phone call.

Last updated: 5 March 2021