The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to procure by next year DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)-based test kits for the screening of human papillomavirus (HPV), a viral infection commonly associated with cervical cancer. The health agency has already submitted the kits to the Health Technology Assessment Council for evaluation, according to Dr. Jan Llevado, cancer control division chief of the DOH. She said during the 12th HPV Summit on Thursday that the kits are being piloted in 30 access sites in the country through a partnership between the DOH and nonprofit organization Jhpiego. The three-year project called “Scale Up Cervical Cancer Elimination with Secondary prevention Strategy,” or Success, began in 2021. Llevado said DNA-based testing is a “high-quality performance method used as primary screening test for cervical cancer elimination” and endorsed by the World Health Organization. For areas without access to the HPV-DNA test kits, free screening tests using visual inspection with acetic acid wash are available for women 20 years old and up at all DOH hospitals and rural health units. In 2021, the DOH aimed to vaccinate 1,036,009 9-year-old girls, the starting age for children to get at least a single dose of HPV vaccines.