Background: Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) strains, especially HPV 16 and HPV 18, is associated with the onset of various malignant diseases, including cervical carcinoma in women. HPV DNA testing is thus being implemented as a complementary method to standard cytological examination, mainly due to its increased sensitivity. Aim: This review outlines the role of HPV in cervical carcinogenesis, with a focus on the formation of cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN1–3) and the molecular mechanism underlying cellular transformation. Current biomarkers used to screen premalignant lesions are described, including mRNA transcripts of the E6 and E7 genes, protein p16 (a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates cell cycle progression from G1 to S phase), altered DNA methylation patterns, and actions of specific microRNAs (short (18–22 bp), non-coding, single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level). This review also describes the advantages and drawbacks of commercial HPV tests, and depicts novel methods for more cost-effective and faster HPV diagnostics based on optical or electrochemical detection. Conclusion: Although great progress has been made, the incidence and mortality rates of cervical malignancies remain relatively high, especially in developing countries. Incorporation of HPV testing into routine screening programs could help to decrease mortality rates; however, the cost of such testing must be reduced if it is to compete with current cytology-based examinations.