Pap tests have long been seen as an important screening tool for detecting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in women.
But they have recently been found to be inaccurate.
Now, research suggests that abnormal Pap tests may also be the culprit.
The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Dr Peter Cramer, a paediatrician and researcher at the University of Oxford, said that the pap tests were not infallible.
“The test itself is not infalliable,” he said.
“If you have a negative test, it means you are probably infected with some other STDs.”
The Pap test was developed in the late 1960s and the modern version is a modified version of the original.
Dr Cramer said it was designed to test for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) on a person’s genital surface and can be used for people with certain conditions such as cystic fibrosis and HPV-16.
“It is a very accurate test and I would be happy to take it,” he told ABC News.
“However, it is a test for only one type of infection and that is HPV.
It cannot differentiate between different types of HPV.”
Dr Cramer also said there was no proof that the abnormal Pap test results were related to the increased prevalence of the virus in Australia.
“There is no evidence of an association between abnormal Pap testing and HPV prevalence or infection in Australia,” he added.
“We have a very low prevalence of HPV in the population.”
In Australia, HPV infections are rare, affecting just under 1 in 1,000 people.
Dr Cander said that although the Pap test might be useful for diagnosing HPV infections, it should not be taken for granted.
“That is not to say that you can’t do tests for other conditions and HPV infections should not also be taken seriously,” he explained.
“But that test should only be used to rule out conditions that you have already been diagnosed with.”
Topics:pandemic-diseases-other,hiv-infections-other-than-viral,health,women,health-policy,pandrology,pap,australiaFirst posted September 23, 2018 18:50:06Contact Anne BreslauMore stories from New South Wales