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Herpes simplex virus 2 is typically contracted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual, but can also be contracted by exposure to infected saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, or the fluid from herpetic blisters.
On occasion, infection occurs on the toes or on the nail cuticle.
During immunodeficiency, herpes simplex can cause unusual lesions in the skin.
One of the most striking is the appearance of clean linear erosions in skin creases, with the appearance of a knife cut.
Even microscopic abrasions on mucous membranes are sufficient to allow viral entry.
HSV asymptomatic shedding occurs at some time in most individuals infected with herpes.