How is Cervical Cancer / Cervical Dysplasia Tested and Diagnosed?

In the United States:

Women who have HIV need to have a gynecological exam which includes a cervical screening test as well as getting pelvic exams after they are diagnosed, followed by a 6 month follow up. If both of the tests come back as being normal, then cervical screenings will have to be done every year.

Women who have HIV, who have dysplasia need to have a cervical test every 6 months.

Pregnant HIV positive women need to have cervical screenings whenever they go for prenatal care.

Women who were perinatally infected or born with HIV will be at risk for having high risk HPV. Cervical screenings will need to begin before the age of 21, if they are sexually active.

Abnormal screening tests can mean cancer, dysplasia, infection or inflammation.

If you get abnormal results from your cervical screening, you will need to have a colposcopy which is an exam which uses a type of magnifier to examine your cervical tissue along with a biopsy which is where a tiny amount of tissue is taken and then examined under a microscope for any signs of cancer.

From the WHO:

HIV positive women need to be screened for cervical cancer every year.

Any VIA or HPV test that has abnormal results, you are going to need to have treatments. Your screenings as well as treatment will be based on the area where you live.

Most areas will have specific screening guidelines along with guidelines for diagnosis which are different from the WHO. You will need to look to see what your care standard is based on your country or region.

Mark Riegel, MD

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