HPV (Human papilloma virus) is a common virus of which there are many different types. These viruses are sexually transmitted and can affect both men and women although many people will have a virus without knowing as there are often no symptoms. In most cases the virus will cause no harm and disappear without the need for treatment.
However, in women certain high-risk HPV types have been linked to the development cervical cancer.
It is recommend that only women over the age of 30 are screened for HPV as women under the age of 30 have a very high chance of a positive result that will clear spontaneously.
HPV testing is not currently routinely available on the NHS, however pilot studies for both routine HPV screening and home-sampling are underway.
You can find out more about HPV screening from the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.