ALMOST 200 POSITIVE HPV tests from earlier this year carried out by CervicalCheck will have to be re-tested after the window for a second examination passed without them being tested. 
The clinical director of CervicalCheck has said the women affected will be contacted in the coming days but that it is very important to state that the positive HPV tests are very unlikely to mean the women will develop cervical cancer. 
CervicalCheck still screens for abnormal cells that can cause cervical cancer, but the way that they do it has changed.
Previously, a cytology smear test was carried out to look for any cervical cell abnormalities, and then if that test found an abnormality, women were referred to a colposcopy clinic to test whether those abnormalities were low-grade or high-grade.
But studies have shown that the results are better if you test for HPV in cervical cells first, and if it is found, then refer the woman on for further examination.
RTÉ News first reported this morning that in 180 cases HPV was found in the womens samples but they were not sent on for cytology examination, within the window period of 42 days.
Speaking on RTÉs Morning Ireland programme, clinical director of CervicalCheck Dr Nóirín Russel said that the tests were not carried out in time because of the backlog in testing caused by the suspension of services last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 
There were actually 200,000 samples sent during the first half of this year and that was 50,000 more than we had been expecting. Our ability to screen that number of samples, whereas the vast majority did get processed and did get fully processed and fully screened, in approximately 200 samples we were able to test for HPV, the first part of the test, but we werent able to look at the cytology or look at the cells, the second part of the test because the samples expired.
Russell said that the tests affected were from April and May of this year with some possible from March also. She said that the women affected will be contacted in the coming days with their GP also to be contacted. 
We have staff have ready on the info line ready to take calls to explain and to reassure, so all of those steps are in place and were expecting that the affected women will get their information in the next few days. That information will be in the form of a letter explaining that theyre HPV positive and that they need to have a repeat test, she said. 
Russell added: Its really, really important that women who hear this, who hear HPV positive, know that its very unlikely to mean cancer but its really important they attend for that second test.
#Open journalismNo news is bad newsSupport The Journal
Your contributions will help us continue
to deliver the stories that are important to you
Support us now
The helpline for women who may have queries is now live and can be contacted on 1800 454 555.
– With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha

You may also like