Newer evidence supports HPV screening protocols
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A strong causal relationship exists between persistent human papilloma virus (HPV) infection of the female genital tract and the occurrence of cervical cancer. HPV acquisition rates rise quickly after the onset of sexual activity in young women, with the peak prevalence occurring in the late teens or early 20s. HPV infections and their commonly associated mild cervical lesions in young women almost always clear spontaneously. With increasing age, HPV prevalence declines, but HPV persistence and serious cervical pathology both increase. The demographics of the infection underscore the limited value of HPV screening in women younger than 30.
Evidence Based Practice 11(8): 01-03.