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Women who get HPV vaccine still need tests

Women who get HPV vaccine still need tests
Photo: Women who get HPV vaccine still need tests
Research shows women who have received the HPV vaccine are less likely to get tested for cervical cancer.

MELBOURNE, AAP - Women who have had the human papillomavirus vaccine are being reminded they still need to undergo regular screening to prevent cervical cancer.

New research in the Medical Journal of Australia shows that women who have received the vaccine are less likely to have Pap tests than those who have not been vaccinated.

The research found Pap test rates were 13 per cent lower among vaccinated women aged 25 to 29, while for women aged 20 to 24, the rate was 10 per cent lower.

Associate Professor Marion Saville, from the Victorian Cytology Service, says the vaccine only protects against two HPV types, which cause about 70 per cent of cervical cancers.

"So it's crucial that young women participate in cervical screening whether they're vaccinated or not, especially once they reach 25," she said.

Cancer Council Victoria's screening manager Kate Broun said the research highlighted the need for continued awareness campaigns.

"Historically, younger women are less likely to undergo regular Pap test than women in older age groups, so the misconception that vaccinated women don't need cervical screening is a real concern," she said.

Copyright 2014 AAP

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