A Special Tribute from the Chair


The WA AIDS Council (Inc) was truly saddened to learn of the passing of Darren Vernede over the weekend. Darren died of a medical condition related to his HIV infection.

Darren was the “Openly HIV + Representative” on the WAAC Board of Governance, a position he held from 2010 – 2017. Darren served with distinction.

Darren’s story is an incredibly important one for WAAC and the community generally. Darren was a straight man and a hemophiliac. In 1984, at the age of 16, Darren acquired HIV through blood transfusion. Given only a few years to live, Darren learnt everything he could about HIV and set his mind to living life to the fullest. 

Following the advent of “HAART” treatments, Darren found love, married and had three wonderful children. With the grim reaper’s shadow fading behind him, Darren became an extraordinarily accomplished advocate in the HIV sector. 

Darren was also an executive coach and author of the book “Resilience-Bouncing Back from the Edge” which he published in 2014.

During our years together on the Board I came to value Darren’s exceptional judgment, kind-heartedness and encyclopedic knowledge of all things HIV. 

I will miss him. 

On behalf of the Board I offer my deepest condolences to Darren’s family and friends.

Asanka Gunasekera

Our Mission

To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.