Z card brochure - A Guide To Understanding Your Test Results - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Page last updated: 22 January 2020 (this page is generated automatically and reflects updates to other content within the website)

PDF version: Z card brochure - Guide To Understanding Your Test Results (PDF 1763 KB)

A Guide To Understanding Your Test Results

This document provides you with information to help you better understand your Cervical Screening Test results.

Your health worker will discuss your results and the next steps with you.

It is important to see your health worker straight away if you experience pain or any other problems at any time.

Cervical Screening Test

What does the Cervical Screening Test look for?

The Cervical Screening Test looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

HPV is so common that many people have it at some point in their lives and never know it, as there are usually no symptoms.

But if HPV stays in our bodies for a long time, it can cause problems that may lead to cervical cancer. This usually takes 10 to 15 years.

Cervical Screening Test results

What does my test result mean?

Your health worker will talk to you about your Cervical Screening Test results, and will answer any questions you have.

Based on your results your health worker may recommend you:

  • Return to screen in five years
    This means that no HPV was found. You will be invited to have your next test in five years.
  • Repeat the HPV test in 12 months
    This means you will be invited to have another test in 12 months. It means that HPV has been found, but it’s safe for you to come back for another test in 12 months to see if it’s still there.
  • Refer to a specialist
    This means you have a type of HPV infection which needs further tests or treatment. You will be referred to a specialist for another test.
  • Repeat the test in 6 weeks
    This does not mean there is something wrong. It means your sample cannot be read properly by the laboratory. It’s important to repeat the test in six weeks.
Talk to your health worker if you’re anxious or worried about your result.

Where can I get more information?

If you need more information, a good place to start is by speaking with your health worker.
You can also get more information from:

National Cervical Screening Program

To find out more about cervical screening and understand how the program works.
13 15 56

National Cancer Screening Register

If you would like to update your contact details and look up when your next Cervical Screening Test is due.
1800 627 701

National HPV Vaccination Register

If you need to check if you’ve already had the HPV vaccine, including how many doses you’ve received.
1800 478 734

Frequently asked questions

How did I get HPV?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is very common, and is spread by skin contact during sexual activity. People can have HPV for a long time without ever knowing it, and most people have it at some stage. If you have HPV there is no way of knowing when you first got it. Most of the time the body is able to get rid of the virus.

Do I need to avoid having sex if I have HPV?

There is no reason to stop having sex if your Cervical Screening Test shows HPV. The HPV virus is very common and there is no way of knowing if your partner has this type of virus, or has previously had it.

Should I tell my partner I have HPV?

If you have HPV, you may choose to discuss this with your partner. Talking with your partner about your test results is your own decision. If you are worried about passing HPV on to your partner, talk to your health worker for advice.

How is HPV treated?

There is no treatment for HPV. In most cases the body clears HPV naturally in 1 to 2 years and it has no long-lasting effects. If the body doesn’t clear the virus cells may change. These changes can usually be treated easily and successfully.