From July 1st, people across Australia will be able access self-collection kits for cervical cancer.
Health experts believe this initiative will encourage people to get tested for cervical cancer more frequently.
The at-home tests are less invasive than cervical exams performed by doctors, and do not require patients to reach the cervix when they swab their vaginas.
Executive director of the Australian Centre for Prevention of Cervical Cancer, Professor Marion Saville, says this initiative could potentially eliminate cervical cancer in Australia "within the next five or six years."
"This is a real breakthrough, giving autonomy and agency to women, who are now in control of how that test is taken," says Professor Saville.
Get Papped founder Katie Norbury says this initiative is “going to break down so many barriers to screenings.”
"Up to 90% of people who die from cervical cancer are either not up to date with their screening or have never had a cervical screening before," she says, "self collection is likely to increase participation rates particularly among people living in remote or rural areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, linguistically diverse groups, those facing social or economic disadvantage and victims of sexual trauma or violence."
The National Cervical Screening Program recommends people with a cervix get tested for cervical cancer when they turn 25 years of age.
It’s recommended people continue to get tested every 5 years.
The self-collection kits will be available at your GP from next month.