HPV Tests For Cervical Cancer Screening

Persistent infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. HPV is a very common, sexually transmitted infection, which most people will have during their lifetime.  In some women, HPV infection will persist over time, and if this goes undetected and untreated, it can lead to precancerous cervical lesions and possibly progress to cervical cancer.

HPV testing is used for cervical cancer screening.  It is more sensitive and effective than other screening tests, and can accurately identify women at high risk of developing cervical cancer. There are several HPV testing products available. To aid decision making by cervical cancer program managers in selecting an HPV test for use in their programs, the following charts provide information on the main HPV tests available, along with their main characteristics.

  1. Test name, Company name, Regulatory Status, Type of assay and HPV Types detected. (Table 1)
  2. Format of results, Internal controls for sample adequacy, Collection media, Volume per test, Assay read-out, Equipment needed to process the test. (Table 2)
  3. Batch size, Processing time, Maximum number of tests processed in 8 hr day, Storage conditions and use of the platform for other tests. (Table 3)

Download the three tables in one document.

For more information about HPV testing check the PAHO HPV Testing Manual and the cervical cancer health education materials in the Cervical Cancer page.