Herpes infection — either HSV 1 or HSV 2 — happens when the virus enters the body. It usually finds a vulnerable part of the skin, such as the mouth or the genital area (a small cut, abrasion or a mucous membrane). Because mucous membranes are more vulnerable than the tough barrier of the skin, women are many times more likely to get herpes than men. Once inside the body, herpes travels to certain nerve ganglia, where it “sleeps” (also see herpes dormancy) until something triggers herpes into action. Centers for Disease Control statistics indicate that up to 80% of people infected with herpes don’t even know they have herpes because they experience such mild symptoms of herpes, or sometimes none. See also How can you get herpes?herpes forum