THE Hong Kong AIDS Foundation, having achieved its aim of raising local awareness of the deadly disease, must now persuade people to change their sexual behaviour, according to outgoing chairman Peggy Lam Pei Yu-dja. Mrs Lam, 65, who will step down at tonight's annual meeting, said that although the foundation had achieved much in its two years of existence, there were still major challenges ahead. ''I would say that, before the association was set up, very few people were concerned about AIDS and awareness was very low,'' she said. ''Now, the majority of people know AIDS is a deadly disease and they know there is no cure yet. But they don't practise prevention. They still think [AIDS] is somebody else's business.'' Mrs Lam said the foundation's main task in future must be to change this attitude. The foundation also had to focus on correcting common misconceptions about AIDS, which were still prevalent, despite higher awareness generally, she said. But she admitted this would take time. ''Education is a long process,'' she said. ''If you want to change people's concepts, it will not be done in one or two years.'' Mrs Lam said she hoped the foundation would continue to emphasise the need for care and support for AIDS patients. She felt the foundation had done much in this area to arouse local compassion. However, Mrs Lam felt she had failed in one area - changing the attitude of funeral parlour staff, who still refuse to handle the bodies of AIDS sufferers. ''I think it is a human right to die with dignity and to have a dignified service in a funeral parlour,'' she said. ''I hope the next chairman could carry this on.'' Mrs Lam said she was stepping down because she felt it was time to make way for someone with fresh ideas. Also, having just set up the Hong Kong Federation of Women, she could not give as much time to the foundation as before. She said she would, however, remain a member. ''I will be active, I will not disappear.'' Mrs Lam declined to give the foundation a grade for its efforts over the last two years: ''If I give a mark of 80, you will say I am biased,'' she said. ''But, if I just give it a pass, then I think it's not fair to the AIDS Foundation because it has done a lot of work.'' But she added: ''I would say we did carry out our terms of reference. We have set up a counselling service and a blood-testing service, we have organised many seminars and talks, we have carried out a survey.'' And of her own performance, Mrs Lam said: ''I think I have done my job. I have worked quite hard in setting it up from scratch.'' The new chairman will be chosen by members from the foundation's new 20-member board. also to be elected tonight.