Neighbours' Carla Bonner reveals father's death from AIDS after blood transfusion

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Australian actress Carla Bonner has opened up about the death of her father, Peter Bonner, from AIDS after he contracted HIV from a blood transfusion in the 1980s.

The Neighbours star, who played Stephanie Scully on the popular soap opera on and off from 1999 to 2018, took to Instagram on Wednesday to share his heartbreaking story on World AIDS Day.

Carla Bonner.
Carla Bonner has revealed that her father died from AIDS. Photo: Instagram/carlabonner3

Carla posted a black and white photo of her dad alongside a lengthy caption about how he “lived his last days in shame, terrified and alone”.

She began by explaining how Peter had developed kidney disease in the early ‘80s and received a kidney donation.

“But his body rejected the kidney and he had to have blood transfusions,” she wrote. “[We were] assured by the Aussie government the blood was clean, and safe coming from our brothers and sisters wanting to help fellow Aussies.”

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“Those transfusions were the beginning of the end for him. The end of life as he knew it. The end of his dignity. And tragically the end of his life.”

Unfortunately, Peter passed away from AIDS in 1986 when Carla was 13 years old.

Carla Bonner's dad, Peter Bonner.
Carla said her dad ‘lived his last days in shame, terrified and alone’. Photo: Instagram/carlabonner3

Carla continued: “I’m so sorry he suffered the way he did. The way he was treated was abhorrent. Lower class. Bottom of the barrel… He lived his last days in shame, terrified and alone.

“When he died, they put him in a plastic bag and a metal casket in case the virus could travel underground. They destroyed his belongings, burned everything.

“I lived with this for 35 years, believing a story we were told by the government about the ‘accidental’ contamination. In 2020 a lot of truths surfaced across the world. A time of full disclosure. I learned the story we were fed was gravely untrue.”

The 48-year-old, who is the mother of Home and Away star Harley Bonner, concluded her emotional post saying that she has “had to do a lot to heal” from the pain of her dad’s death.

“Any opportunity I had to have him in my life was taken from me when I really needed him. The events and memories of the day remain with me for the rest of my life.”

These days, it’s required that Australians meet certain requirements before donating blood so the person receiving the blood won’t contract any diseases.

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