(WZZM) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first HPV test for doctors to use as a primary way of screening women for cervical cancer.
HPV, or the Human Papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. HPV can cause cervical cancer in women and two types are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases.
The test approved by the FDA, called the cobas HPV Test, looks for HPV DNA in cervical cells. The test can detect genetic material from 14 high-risk HPV types including the two responsible for most cancer cases.
The FDA says the test is for women ages 25 and older. It can be used alone to help doctors determine if a patient needs more testing.
The test was originally approved in 2011 for use with a Pap test or as a follow up to that test.
"Today's approval offers women and physicians a new option for cervical cancer screening," Alberto Gutierrez with the FDA said in a news release. "Roche Diagnostics conducted a well-designed study that provided the FDA with a reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness when used as a primary screening tool for cervical cancer."
To read more about this new approval, click here.