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Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is more sensitive but less specific than cytology for detecting CIN2+.1 Longitudinally, the cumulative rate of CIN2+ 6 years after a negative HPV test is similar to the rate 3 years after negative cytology.2 However, some researchers have suggested that this improved sensitivity is due to overdiagnosis of regressive lesions.3 Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials shows that screening with HPV testing prevents more cervical cancers than with cytology.4 There is little evidence regarding CIN2+ more than 6 years after HPV testing.
Consenting women aged 32–38 were randomised between HPV and cytology double testing (n=6257) and cytology alone (n=6270). Stored samples from the control arm were tested …
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