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What happens in an HSV infection?

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The genital herpes virus is passed from one person to another through sexual contact. This happens even if the person with the virus doesn't have symptoms or signs of infection. Once the virus enters through the skin, it travels along nerve paths. It may become dormant (inactive) in the nerves and remain there indefinitely. From time to time, the virus may become active. When that happens, the virus travels back along the nerve path to the surface of the skin, where additional virus is shed. At this point the virus may cause an outbreak of symptoms. Or it may remain undetected. In either case, the active virus is easily passed from one partner to another through sexual contact. Even wearing a condom may not protect the uninfected partner. The virus can be present on skin that remains uncovered. The number of recurrences or outbreaks a person can have may vary.

From: Common Symptoms of Genital Herpes WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: "Genital Herpes -- CDC Fact Sheet."

AVERT: "Herpes: Symptoms, Treatment & Facts."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Genital Herpes: Symptoms."

Planned Parenthood: "Herpes."

Mayo Clinic: "Genital herpes: Symptoms."

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on January 09, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC: "Genital Herpes -- CDC Fact Sheet."

AVERT: "Herpes: Symptoms, Treatment & Facts."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Genital Herpes: Symptoms."

Planned Parenthood: "Herpes."

Mayo Clinic: "Genital herpes: Symptoms."

Reviewed by Nivin Todd on January 09, 2018

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What happens if you have genital herpes?

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