Jia Karanji: the first woman who died of AIDS (18+)

The material was prepared jointly with the project "Classmates"

December 1 - World AIDS Day. And today Diletant.media will tell about the first known woman who died from AIDS, as well as the current situation in the fight against the epidemic.

"The world seems to be based on money and sex ..."

These words belong to Jie Karanji - one of the first American top models and a woman whose life has died away in the fight against a terrible disease.

The beginning of her brilliant career was an acquaintance with Francesco Scavullo and Richard Avedon from the magazines "Vogue" and "Cosmo". What happened to Jia rarely happens in the modeling business: she quickly rose fantastically to world fame.

Jia Karanzhdi on the cover of the magazine "Cosmopolitan»

One of the most key features of Jia as a model was an amazing face: she could look childlike and innocent in one shoot and be fatal in other pictures. When the agents noticed this, they one and all predicted her a long life in the modeling business.

Gia fantastically quickly rose to world glory


The success turned the head and for this, or any other reason, Gia became more often than all in her environment, to take drugs. In the 70s of the last century, nightclubs and cocaine were practically inseparable. Rapidly winning the most legendary podiums of the fashion world, Jia did not notice that her personal life is in a deplorable state.

Career and loneliness

Awesome model, Gia became the muse for the photographer Chris Von Wangenheim, who considered Gia's chest the best in the modeling business of that time. Their fruitful cooperation yielded significant results: the pictures of Gia appeared on the pages of Vogue magazine, she owned the covers of this magazine in several countries: Great Britain, America and France. Soon the figure of Jii became noticeably stand out from the rest of the model types, since the bodies of the models at that time were shy and inconspicuous, and were not comparable with its forms.

Jia became a muse for photographer Chris Von Wangenheim

Legendary nude photo taken by Wangenheim

And despite the fact that the income model was huge, and she could afford all the entertainment that only existed, Jia spent most of her time alone. Everything else, she preferred women. Here is an entry from her diary: “Girls have always been a problem for me. I really don't know why they excite me. ”


Beautiful and lonely, she wandered around the city, went to her friends, just to hug. It was monstrously sad. Jia spent too much time in search of not even hers, but someone else's love.

The beginning of the end of a career

A great shock to Jia was the news that her mentor and agent, Wilhelmina Cooper, had lung cancer. To cope with the stress and fear that suddenly came to her, Jie helped heroin. More precisely, she thought it would really help. And all the next time she devoted herself to work, unable to refuse those who went crazy with her and dreamed of working with her, as well as using that very “magic”.

Wilhelmina died a month after she was diagnosed. And Gia was no longer able to give up not only filming, but also a new dose. She, like no one, knew that the model should not disappear without a trace, should be visible and not be ill, because fashion models do not have such a right. But she began to disappear, behaving strangely, and caused by these rumors that Gia was using drugs. The trouble is that the rumors did not lie, Jia became a drug addict.

"Do you want to work with me or not?"

A series of endless encounters and awkward situations began where Jia looked unattractive; a series of discussions on her and her problem; a series of breakdowns, interrupted contracts, losses. Exhausted by the disease, she signed up for a rehabilitation program, but did not last long.

After several years of using heroin, Jia developed boils and ulcers.

After several years of using heroin, the disease went on the offensive: there were boils and ulcers.

Shot from the movie "Gia" with Angelina Jolie in the lead role

In early 1982, Karanji began to fight again for what belonged to her: for her life. She contacted an agent named Monique Pillad, and their meeting took place in a very tense atmosphere. Monique asked to roll up his sleeves in order to somehow justify his almost criminal desire to work with such a model at that time. “Do you want to work with me or not?” She asked, without showing a hand.

Nothing works

The opportunity to make a cover for Cosmo magazine surfaced on the horizon, and everyone hoped that this would be something epochal, truly culminating, pinned hopes on this “return” to the profession. But nothing happened. What Jia had, her originality, this special spirit, he left her. It was monstrously difficult to hide hands and lie to journalists that there had never been drugs in her life. Everything was going down. In the spring of 1983, the model was caught with another dose on the set in North Africa. Her career was over.

In 1983, Jiyu was caught with another dose, and her career ended there.

She moved to Atlantic City and lived there with a girl whom she met on a rehabilitation program. Jia's family was preparing for the worst: at any time they could call and report about the death of their pet: the one who had recently been invited to Europe for a week and promised $ 10,000, the death of the one who had not gained personal happiness by exchanging it for heroin.

One of the best shots of Karanji

Jia ran, her search lasted for quite a long time, she returned from time to time, but her life no longer obeyed any rules and laws: the attempts did not bear fruit, nothing worked, and in 1985, when she slept with men for money, to earn money for a dose and was raped several times, Jia was in the hospital. Then the preliminary diagnosis sounded "pneumonia". Until the end of her life remained 6 months.

Jia slept with men for money to earn a dose

After a detailed examination, the diagnosis was changed: Jia was diagnosed with AIDS. Mom didn’t move a step away from her, didn’t let anyone in, so that rumors and information about her daughter’s illness did not spread. She also did everything to make the chamber look like a house, and surrounded her daughter with care. But during conversations in the park and walks, they both understood that Jia had no desire to live. And this despite the fact that she regained her faith in God. Jia once asked mom: “I had an overdose three times, why did God save me?” There was no answer.

Gia Karanji remained beautiful to the very end.

She wanted to save children who could start taking soft drugs and make a film in which, by her own example, would prove how terrible it is to be dose dependent. This was not destined to be realized, the physical condition deteriorated every day, and there was no strength for anything.

Gia Karanji died on November 18, 1986. The funeral director advised to bury her in a closed coffin, so much so that her body was disfigured.

One of the leading models of the 70s and one of the first supermodels, thanks to which not only blondes, but also brunettes began to appear on the catwalk. Gia was also the first known woman in the United States whose cause of death was openly identified as the immunodeficiency virus. In her diary she wrote: “You know, I thank God for being beautiful; if I look in the mirror and like myself, then I look good. ”

What can we do now?

On June 5, 1981, the American Center for Disease Control registered a new disease - AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

Jiyu was buried in a closed coffin, so much was the body mutilated.

Today, December 1, is not just marked in the calendar. We need AIDS Day in order not to stand still and fight that we can win and support those people who are affected by this problem. The first thing we can do is an HIV test to find out our status, as well as learn how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from HIV infection. It is also important to know how to properly speak and write about HIV infection. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS has issued a special guide explaining the concepts and terms that are often used in connection with HIV. For example, the difference between "HIV" and "AIDS", why people cannot be called "victims" and "carriers of AIDS", and also why the concept of "the AIDS virus" does not exist, "standard precautions" that will help you not to become infected with HIV.

Red ribbon - a symbol of the fight against HIV / AIDS

Knowing this and much more, we will be able to help, because language is an important dominant, it forms a representation and, accordingly, can influence a person’s behavior.

What has been done?

From 2000 to 2015, the number of new HIV infections in the world decreased by 35%.

Since the peak of the death rate due to AIDS in 2004, it has fallen by 42%.

The number of new HIV infections among children has decreased by 58%.

From 2000 to 2015, the number of new HIV infections in the world decreased by 35%

The global community has stopped the spread of HIV and reversed the infection. Humanity has caused the epidemic to subside. The number of new HIV infections and deaths due to AIDS has decreased significantly compared with the time when the epidemic was at a peak level. Now, before the measures to counter the new challenge - to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

The region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia remains virtually the only region in the world where the epidemic continues to grow. In our power to stop her. Start with yourself # pass.

Watch the video: Gia Carangi Personal Interview (November 2019).

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