All these are good, relevant, and well-meaning objectives--and pragmatic consensus is that an institution such as the PAP
should be at the core of driving this agenda.
However, that does not mean that the Pap
test is useless.
This important study of more than 2400 HIV-positive women across the United States found that a substantial minority of them--almost one quarter--had not had a Pap
test in the past year.
Another unfortunate problem with Pap
tests has arisen as the way the tests are processed in laboratories.
Women 30 and Older--Routine Screening with Both Pap
and HPV DNA Testing
The liquid based Pap
test has increased sensitivity and decreased specificity; therefore, there are the potential harms of low test specificity/high false positive rates.
The slide is delivered to a laboratory where a cytotechnologist (a lab professional who reviews your Pap
test slides) and, when necessary, a pathologist (a health care professional who examines bodily tissue samples) examines the sample for any abnormalities.
The Institute of Medicine emphasized that data on sexually transmitted infections, Pap
smear screening, and cervical dysplasia among lesbians were needed to guide clinical practice, policy development, and patient education.
One large study found that 11 percent of women don't get Pap
tests at all.
Results from a 1arge study confirm that women who test negative for human papillomavirus and haw a norma1 Pap
test when screened for cervical cancer can safely wait 3 years before retesting.
To improve the reliability of the test, don't have intercourse for 24 hours prior to the Pap
smear; schedule your appointment two weeks after your last menstrual period; and don't use vaginal contraceptives or douches for 72 hours before the test.
More than two-thirds of participants in a written survey of 141 female patients age 14 and older believed that a pap
smear is synonymous with a pelvic exam.