AS AIDS campaigners hailed the first local Chinese victim to talk publicly about his illness, they are mourning the loss of Samson Chan Kam-wa, a fervent AIDS worker and gay rights activist who recently died of an AIDS-related illness. Chan was a service programme officer of the AIDS Foundation and a founder of gay support group, Horizons. Following Chan's death last weekend, former disc jockey J.J. Chan announced he would become the focus of a government AIDS campaign starting next month. The move is hailed as a breakthrough, because he is the first Chinese sufferer to spearhead a government-sponsored AIDS awareness campaign. Through his work with the AIDS Foundation, Samson Chan campaigned for confidentiality in AIDS testing services. In 1993, he warned that government statistics showed there were more HIV infection cases among heterosexuals than homosexuals, bisexuals, blood transfusion and drug-user groups. He also warned that as many as half of the known HIV-infected heterosexual men could be married. Samson Chan encouraged spouses and parents to be educated, open and aware of risks, though he emphasised the public should not panic provided they were properly informed and educated on how to avoid the disease. The funeral service for Samson Chan is expected to be held early this week.