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What does the virus that causes genital herpes (HSV-2) do in your body?

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HSV-2 lives in your nerves. When it's active, it travels to the surface of your skin and makes copies of itself. This is called "shedding" because these new viruses can rub off on another person. Then the virus travels back down the nerve, where it lies dormant again.

From: The Basics About Genital Herpes WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:  WebMD Medical News: "More Genital Herpes From Cold Sore Virus." Fleming, et al. , Oct. 16, 1997. American Social Health Association's National Herpes Resource Center. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia.
The New England Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 09, 2018

SOURCES:  WebMD Medical News: "More Genital Herpes From Cold Sore Virus." Fleming, et al. , Oct. 16, 1997. American Social Health Association's National Herpes Resource Center. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. MEDLINEplus Medical Encyclopedia.
The New England Journal of Medicine

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 09, 2018

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