Organised cervical cancer screening was implemented in Sweden in the mid-1960s. A marked decline in cervical cancer incidence could be attributed to the time-point of start of screening. Squamous cell carcinoma has declined by 60%, whereas adenocarcinoma has increased. About 950000 papanicolaou (Pap) smears are taken annually. Only 31% of the smears taken in the organised screening programme. As of 1998, the screening guidelines are 3-yearly tests between 23 and 50 years of age and 5-yearly tests between 50 and 60 years of age. The article reviews the screening practise in Sweden, the current efforts to improve the quality of the screening programme, as well as the ongoing randomised evaluations of organised primary screening for cervical human papilloma virus (HPV) infection.