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The shift towards primary human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening has necessitated the search for a secondary triage test that provides sufficient sensitivity to detect high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer, but also brings an improved specificity to avoid unnecessary clinical work and colposcopy referrals. We evaluated the performance of the previously described DNA-methylation test (S5) in detecting CIN3 and cancers from diverse geographic settings in high-, medium- and low-income countries, using the cut-off of 0.80 and exploratory cut-offs of 2.62 and 3.70. Assays were performed using exfoliated cervical specimens (n = 808) and formalin-fixed biopsies (n = 166) from women diagnosed with cytology-negative results (n = 220), CIN3 (n = 204) and cancer stages I (n = 245), II (n = 249), III (n = 28) and IV (n = 22). Methylation increased proportionally with disease severity (Cuzick test for trend, P < .0001). S5 accurately separated women with negative-histology from CIN3 or cancer (P < .0001). At the 0.80 cut-off, 543/544 cancers were correctly identified as S5 positive (99.81%). At cut-off 3.70, S5 showed a sensitivity of 95.77% with improved specificity. The S5 odds ratios of women negative for cervical disease vs CIN3+ were significantly higher than for HPV16/18 genotyping at all cut-offs (all P < .0001). At S5 cut-off 0.80, 96.15% of consistently high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV)-negative cancers (tested with multiple hrHPV-genotyping assay) were positive by S5. These cancers may have been missed in current primary hrHPV-screening programmes. The S5 test can accurately detect CIN3 and malignancy irrespective of geographic context and setting. The test can be used as a screening and triage tool. Adjustment of the S5 cut-off can be performed considering the relative importance given to sensitivity vs specificity.