If You’ve Got Hep C, Spitting Can Be A Felony

(By Michelle Andrews for Kaiser Health News)

Last week, an Ohio man who has the hepatitis C virus was sentenced to 18 months in prison for spitting at Cleveland police and medics.

Matthew Wenzler, 27, was reportedly lying on a Cleveland street across from a downtown casino in January. When police and emergency medical technicians tried to put him on a stretcher to take him to a hospital, he spit saliva mixed with blood repeatedly at them, hitting an officer in the eye.

In Ohio, it’s a felony for people who know they have HIV, viral hepatitis or tuberculosis to intentionally expose another person to their blood, semen, urine, feces or other bodily substances such as saliva with the intent to harass or threaten the person. Continue reading article here…

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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