12:00 AM, August 26, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 26, 2018

Stand-alone HPV testing recommended as cervical cancer screening option

Women aged 30 to 65 years can now choose primary high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing as an option for cervical cancer screening, according to guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published in JAMA.

In its 2012 guidelines, the USPSTF introduced hrHPV testing, but only in conjunction with cytology, so-called "cotesting". In grade A recommendations, the task force now recommends three options for this age group:

♦ Primary hrHPV testing every 5 years

♦ Cervical cytology every 3 years

♦ Cotesting every 5 years

For women aged 21 to 29, the group continues to recommend cytology every 3 years. Screening is not recommended for women older than 65 who are not at high risk and have had adequate prior screening and for women younger than 21. It also is not recommended for those who have had a hysterectomy with cervix removal and who have not had high-grade precancerous lesions.