PRISON officers donned plastic gloves to escort an HIV patient to court yesterday, sparking criticism from legislators. Unemployed Chan Wing-kan, 29, allegedly stabbed Tam Yu-man with a syringe outside a ward in Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam, on April 5. No plea was taken from Chan, who faces one count of wounding with intent. The Correctional Services Department (CSD) refused to comment on why the two CSD officers escorting Chan to Western Court were wearing gloves. But a spokesman said it did not discriminate against prisoners with HIV. ''Generally, neither staff nor other prisoners are even aware that a prisoner is HIV positive,'' he said. United Democrats health spokesman Dr Huang Chen-ya said the action taken by the prison officers was inappropriate. ''There is no way you can contact HIV or AIDS through touching. Clearly this reflects very badly on the medical knowledge of prison officers. ''It is very bad that they have prejudged someone like this. ''This treatment gives the wrong impression. The Health Department should educate prison officers and they should do so without delay.'' The Liberal Party's health spokesman, Dr Lam Kui-chun, believed the prison officers were being ''over self-protective''. Magistrate Mary Yuen refused a defence request for a three-month adjournment for a medical report. She said it would not take that long to determine whether Mr Tam had HIV. The Crown argued that if a blood sample proved Mr Tam had HIV, Chan should face a charge of attempted murder. Chan, who has been in custody for four months, offered $30,000 cash and $4,000 surety for bail, but was refused. His lawyer said he would apply again next week.