Skip to main content

Cervical screening test

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The self-collected HPV test is now available in TAS. For further information please click here.

  • On December 1, 2017, the Cervical Screening Test (CST) replaced the Pap test. CST Clinician Guide

  • The CST is now the only Medicare-funded routine cervical screening test, and is available to women aged 25 years and over.

  • Specimens need to be collected by clinicians into ThinPrep® vials.

  • Request forms must specify the requested test PLUS the reason for test PLUS supporting clinical notes.

For further information on the Cervical Screening program, please contact our Cytology Department on (03) 6237 1233

A risk-based approach

The CST uses an HPV DNA test to detect the presence of oncogenic HPV types known to be associated with a higher risk of developing significant cervical abnormalities. The HPV test is more sensitive than cytology, so it can be performed less frequently.

  • Asymptomatic women who test negative for oncogenic HPV are at low risk of developing cervical cancer and only need to be screened every 5 years.

  • Asymptomatic women who test positive for oncogenic HPV will have a liquid-based cytology (LBC) test performed on the same sample (reflex LBC) and will be assessed as either intermediate risk and advised to return for further testing in 12 months, or higher risk and referred for colposcopy.

  • Symptomatic women and those with a history of high-grade cervical pathology will have both an HPV and LBC test (Co-test) performed,regardless of their HPV result.

  • Women with special circumstances identified by the program may be offered more frequent screening or a single screening test prior to age 25.


In order to help you better understand the Cervical Screening Test (CST), we have created a range of resources that are available to be downloaded using the links below.


Guide for Clinicians

Patient Brochure

Collection Guide

Flowchart - Transition to CST

Flowchart - Pathway for routine CST

Self-collect HPV test information

Self-collect patient procedure

Department of Health information

The Australian Government Department of Health has resources available on their website