HPV self-screening is a gamechanger

The new HPV self-screening is set to be a game changer for increasing the number of women being screened for HPV (human papilloma virus)

Last year, HPV self-testing became a new option which is great news if you are a very private person or a bit shy. 

You will still need a consultation with your nurse or doctor to see which option is best for you.

Now rather than have to book in for an often ‘dreaded’ smear test - you can simply have a discussion with your nurse, take the swab into the bathroom, do the test and hand it back to your nurse.

The self-test is quick and easy and shouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Your nurse can assist you if needed.

Anyone can get HPV – yes, even males and it can lead to a number of genital and oral cancers.

HPV is a big factor in cervical cancers and cervical screening is an important tool to help prevent these cancers.

“It has been great because many who didn’t screen before because they felt embarrassed or nervous about the cervical screens are now coming in to have the test done.

“We recommended to do the swab every five years for most waahine, and if HPV is detected, we would then get you to come in for a cervical smear,” says Elise Adams, Cervical Screening Nurse, Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora – Counties Manukau.

If you are ages 9-26, you can also get the HPV immunisation which can help protect tamariki against these cancers linked to HPV, later in life.

It is provided through most schools in Year 7 or Year 8, and is also available from your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider.

Talk with your healthcare provider to decide what’s best for you.

Image: The Screening Support Services stand at Manukau SuperClinic on HPV Awareness Day on 4 March 2024. 


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