A PLEDGE of non-discrimination against HIV-infected workers was made by the Government and six community groups and companies when they became the first to sign the Hong Kong Community Charter on AIDS yesterday. On what Director of Health Dr Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chan described as a red-letter day in the history of the territory's AIDS campaign, the signatories also committed themselves to organise workplace education programmes about the disease. Dr Chan said: 'The community charter is a clear demonstration that our community cares about its members who are infected with HIV.' Secretary for Civil Service Michael Sze Cho-cheung signed the charter on behalf of the Government which is the territory's biggest employer with 190,000 staff. Representatives of Caritas, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Catholic Board of Education, Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company and Mass Transit Railway Corporation followed suit. Aetna International Corporation has also pledged to sign, while the charter's organising committee has invited another 2,000 companies, each with more than 100 staff, to put their names to the document. The key principles of the charter are non-discrimination in dealing with employees, or potential employees, and confidentiality regarding HIV status. But the charter, a joint initiative of the Health Department and the Hong Kong and Macau branch of Lions Club International, is not legally binding. Dr Lee Shiu-shan, the Health Department's AIDS consultant, said: 'Everybody knows who has signed the charter, while each signatory will have to complete evaluation forms outlining what education programmes they have undertaken. 'If I were an employer I would want to sign it because it demonstrates that you care about your staff.' Dr Lee said the biggest difficulty was asking people to become aware of what was still a relatively small-scale problem in Hong Kong. More than 80 per cent of reported HIV infections in Hong Kong occur in people between 20 and 49.