Despite the development of a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), effective screening strategies for cervical cancer are still needed for several reasons.
1. The current HPV vaccine prevents infection but does not cure or eliminate HPV among women already infected. Therefore, even if the HPV vaccination were implemented universally, women already infected with HPV would be at risk and require screening for many decades.
2. In addition, the rate of usage of the HPV vaccine remains low in the United States and, even among women who are vaccinated, the risk of cervical cancer still persists from HPV types other than HPV 16 and HPV 18, which are in the currently approved vaccines.
3. Logistical issues also affect the use of the vaccine in many low-resource countries.
Consequently, effective screening programs are still needed to detect and allow treatment of precancerous conditions to prevent cervical cancer.