Aussie Insta Queen Jadé Toncdoruk has continued to be an icon, breaking down STD stigma and opening up about a surprisingly common disease: HPV.
In August, the Sydney-based influencer shared the news of her diagnosis with her followers, revealing she would need to undergo surgery on potentially-cancerous tissue. A preventative measure that was possible and, so it looks, a success thanks to her age and getting tested early.
She has been updating her followers through her treatment, getting surgery earlier this month to remove the potentially-dangerous cells. Now she’s on a mission to breaking down STD stigma – especially on diseases as common and as potentially as dangerous as HPV.
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HPV, the human papillomavirus, is a very common STD that is usually harmless, doesn’t always show symptoms, and can go away on its own, according to the Cancer Council.
Condoms offer some but not complete protection from HPV, because it spreads through skin-to-skin contact between genitals.
As always, Jadé has been her frank and refreshingly honest self about the experience. The testing, she said, wasn’t fun and the diagnosis was “daunting and scary”. But it was all necessary to catching and treating the virus early. And to avoid it potentially turning into something much worse.
She kept us in the loop right up to the surgery, and picked up her Story right after.
“I did it!”, she said from her hospital bed. “Now we’re going to go get McDonalds.”
A mood. As always.
Honestly, I hope she got herself some fries. You deserve it, girl.
Speaking to the ABC, Jadé said she felt she had so little knowledge about the topic and, the more she spoke with her doctors, the more surprised she was by how common HPV is.
Not many people have spoken so openly about this. And that is why she has been so transparent about sharing her diagnosis and journey with her 450,000 Instagram followers.
“There’s a stigma around contracting sexually transmitted viruses that scares people into silence and that silence and lack of information can actually in rare cases, be fatal,” she said.
Her openness has paid off, with hundreds of thankful followers flooding her inbox since August, sharing support and their own stories.
“The screenings are there because this is all preventative if caught early. The process isn’t half as bad as you might think … you aren’t alone in this,” she said.
So if you’re a woman over 25 years old, or are sexually active, take this as your sign to get yourself Papped. ASAP.
Sure, STD tests aren’t the best time that you’ll ever have at a doctors office, but its the best thing you can do for your sexual health right now.
Image Sources: Instagram (@jadetunchy)