Get up to date on changes to cervical screening
September is Cervical Screening Awareness Month. You should have regular screening tests if you have a cervix (including trans or non-binary people), are between 25 and 69 and have ever been sexually active.
The test takes about 10 minutes. You may have pay a fee for the test – no more than what you would usual pay to see a doctor or nurse.
Find out when your next screening test is due by calling your GP or freephone 0800 729 729.
Regular cervical screening can help keep your cervix healthy
Cervical cancer starts in the cells lining the cervix, and is triggered by cell changes usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
One way that HPV is spread is by sexual activity. Eighty percent of people who have been sexually active will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives.
Any changes on the cervix can be detected with regular cervical screening and then treated before they become cancers.
Cervical cancer usually develops very slowly (up to 10 years), so it’s easy to detect and treat cell changes early. Treatment is as simple as removing the affected tissue, and has a really high success rate.
Cervical screening is for eligible women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 69. It is recommended that you have a cervical screening every 5 years – or every 3 years if you are immune-deficient.
Upcoming changes to the Cervical Screening Programme
The primary test for cervical screening will change from a “smear” exam to a human papillomavirus (HPV) test from 12th September 2023 – with the option of self-testing.
The new screening method will test for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of HPV and some are more likely than others to lead to cervical cancer.
Te Whatu Ora has announced $7.3 million in funding to provide free cervical screening services for key groups as part of its move to the new HPV test.
Free screening will be available from 12th September 2023 for:
- women and people with a cervix 30 years and over who have never had a screening test;
- women and people with a cervix 30 years and over who haven’t had a test in the past 5 years;
- anyone requiring follow up;
- Māori and Pacific; and
- anyone who is a community service card holder.
Get the HPV vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer
Young girls and women are being encouraged to get up to date with their HPV immunisation and cervical smears this Cervical Screening Awareness Month.
HPV immunisation is currently free for girls and young women from 9 to 26 years, and also for boys and young men. The HPV Immunisation Programme aims to protect young people from HPV infection, which causes more than 90 percent of cervical cancers.
Source: Time to Screen website.Published on Monday, August 14th, 2023, under Uncategorised