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Cervical screenings in Surrey and Hampshire to include HPV

medical

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 4:07pm 14th September 2018.

By the end of next year, cervical screenings in Surrey and Hampshire will include HPV testing. 

The news comes as national research surveying around 2,000 women found some still associated the virus with shame, fear and promiscuity. 

The testing for HPV starts in Wales next week and will be rolled out to Surrey and Hampshire by the end of 2019.

Surrey's uptake for cervical screening is on par with England at 72%. 

The research, by charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, revealed 95% of women are unaware HPV can be contracted through protected sex and a third incorrectly believed HPV has symptoms. 

It was also found 68% of women would be scared if told they had HPV and 51% would be embarrassed.

The charity wants to reduce some of the myths and anxiety surrounding the virus to ensure women fully understand what their results mean. They are concerned a lack of understanding is perpetuating stigma. 

HPV can be dormant in the body for many years, meaning it can be difficult to know exactly when it was contracted. 

The research revealed 62% of women thought less than 50% of people would have HPV, but the virus is very common with 80% of people having it in their life.   

Dr Philippa Kaye, GP believes it's important stigma is reduced.

She said: "The move to HPV testing will enable better identification of those who are most at risk of developing cervical cancer.

"It also means GPs and health professionals will be having more conversations with patients about HPV as they come in to discuss their results and concerns."

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