A travelling medical technician who deliberately infected dozens of patients in multiple US states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes has been sentenced to 39 years in prison. "I don't blame the families for hating me," David Kwiatkowski said on Monday after hearing about 20 statements from people he infected and their relatives. "I hate myself." Kwiatkowski, 34, was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in seven states before being hired at New Hampshire's Exeter Hospital in 2011. He had been fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft. Since his arrest last year, 46 people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries. US Attorney John Kacavas said the sentence "ensures that this serial infector no longer is in a position to do harm to innocent and vulnerable people". Kwiatkowski admitted stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood. He pleaded guilty in August to 16 federal drug charges. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that can cause liver disease and chronic health problems.