Funeral for Dr. Mark Wainberg in Cote St. Luc

Dr Mark Wainberg was remembered during his funeral on Friday as a trailblazing HIV researcher and patient advocate who was equally dedicated to his family, the Montreal community, and friends.

Wainberg's plain wooden coffin sat at the front of the Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation, the synagogue he had attended for many years.

He drowned on Tuesday while swimming with his son in rough waters off Bal Harbour, Fla. He was 71.

Wainberg's son told the funeral that the loss of his father was a loss for the whole world.

``How many people in this world can say their work saved millions of lives?'' Zev Wainberg said Friday in a tearful eulogy.

Wainberg was part of the medical team that discovered the first antiviral drug to treat patients with HIV.

More recently, he served as director of the McGill University AIDS Centre in Montreal.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001.

In 2008, Wainberg was named a Chevalier de Legion d'honneur, the highest honour given by France.