The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all women aged 30-65 should undergo a Pap smear and an HPV test (co-testing) every 5 years.
The Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted disorder affecting millions worldwide. In fact, at least 4 out of 5 women will have been infected with the HPV virus by age 50. There are over 120 known types of HPV; about 40 of these types infect the epithelial lining of the anogenital tract, mouth, and throat. In the majority of individuals (90%), HPV infections are asymptomatic and usually clear up within 2 years without the need for any medical intervention.
However, an infections with any of the 14 High Risk HPV Subtypes can persist and progress into cervical cancer. Indeed, cervical carcinoma has a clearly defined causation — persistent infection with one of the high-risk HPV subtypes. Over 99.7% of all cervical cancer is linked to these HPV infections, with High Risk HPV subtypes, with HPV 16 and HPV 18 alone accounting for over 70% of cervical cancer cases.