AIDS support groups yesterday cautiously welcomed appointments to a council which will advise the Government on how to spend a $350-million AIDS fund. They believe the members - none of whom have any specialised knowledge of the disease - will be more objective than people involved in existing AIDS programmes. The six-member council will advise on the management and disbursement of the fund, which was approved by the Legislative Council Finance Committee yesterday and followed a Sunday Morning Post campaign on behalf of haemophiliacs with HIV. The council will be chaired by Professor David Todd of the Hongkong University. Other members are lawyer and legislator Ms Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Hongkong University social work Professor Nelson Chow Wing-sun, and banker Dr James Kung Ziang-mien. The other two members are representatives of the Secretary for Health and Welfare and the Secretary for the Treasury. The council will hold its first meeting on Tuesday to draw up criteria and methods for disbursement. The Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Shelley Lau Lee Lai-kuen, said payments could be given to victims as early as June. The Government has said $100 million will be for the 61 people who contracted HIV through contaminated blood products. About $200 million will be used for medical and support services for all HIV carriers, while $50 million will be spent on publicity and education. Dr Patrick Li Chung-ki, an executive board member of the AIDS Foundation, said: ''My immediate reaction is that none of them [the appointees] has any background [in AIDS]. People involved with it have a vested interest. But I don't mind people not directly related with AIDS being appointed.'' The chairwoman of AIDS Concern, Ms Lisa Ross, said: ''It can be an advantage to have people not directly involved with AIDS programmes. They will be more objective in terms of how the fund is allocated.'' Committee member Professor Chow said the members were objective and the Government had promised to provide them with more information on AIDS. ''I was told that we were appointed because we had been working for public services for a long time. The Government thought we could make fair decisions and safeguard public interests,'' he said.