A FEAR of ''going public'' and the effects of illness could mean proposals to outlaw discrimination against people with AIDS are of little help, said legislator Michael Ho Mun-ka. The legislation, which would include people with HIV and AIDS, is designed to give the mentally and physically disabled recourse to legal action if they believe they have been discriminated against. But Mr Ho said: ''I think it would be very difficult for an AIDS patient, who may be weak and require hospitalisation, to challenge the alleged discrimination in court. ''There may also be some people with HIV and AIDS who do not want to be named in a public court case.'' But Graham Smith, a spokesman for AIDS Concern, said it was very important that people had the option of taking legal action if they thought they had been discriminated against. He added: ''At the moment, there is nothing to protect people against discrimination because they have no recourse to the law. ''I have no doubt that there is a massive potential for discrimination against people with AIDS and HIV in Hong Kong and so legislation is very important.'' Somebody who believes they have been discriminated against will also have the option of taking their case to an Equal Opportunities Commission where their name will not be released to the public. But Mr Smith said the idea that people with AIDS might not be well enough to go to court highlighted a common misconception about the disease. ''If someone has AIDS it does not necessarily mean they are sick and need to be in hospital. Many people with AIDS are still healthy and able to work,'' he said. The bill to ban discrimination against the mentally and physically disabled is due to be tabled in the Legislative Council early next year.