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My cervical screening test result letter says I have HPV but the cells are normal – what does this mean?

HPV is a very common virus that most people will come into contact with at some point in their lives. Some types of HPV (called ‘high-risk’ types) can cause cervical cancer in a small number of people. Your cervical screening test looks for these high-risk types.


Your cervical screening test result shows you do have the virus but it is not causing any problems with the cells on your cervix at this time.


In this case, because the cells are normal, you can have your test repeated in 12 months’ time. This will give your body’s immune system some more time to try to deal with the virus. In most people, the virus will go without any treatment being needed.


If the virus is still found after 12 months and there are any changes seen in the cells, you will be sent to a colposcopy clinic for a closer look at your cervix.


If your cells are still normal, you will be invited for another test after a further 12 months. Should you still have the virus then, you will be offered an appointment at a colposcopy clinic even if the cells are still normal.