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Table 1 Criteria for assessing the risk of bias in included studies a

From: Herpes simplex virus type 2 and HIV disease progression: a systematic review of observational studies

Criterion Risk of bias
Low Moderate High
Eligibility · Recruited from general HIV-infected population, eg. HIV clinics · Recruited from moderately selected population, eg. STI clinics · Highly selected population (eg. FSW, active GUD)
· Unclear selection criteria applied
HSV-2 ascertainment · High quality type-specific serology assay · Culture-based diagnosis · Methods unclear
· PCR assay · Clinical diagnosis
Endpoint ascertainment · Similar between groups · Similar between groups · Methods unclear
· Regular timing · Irregular timing
Confounding · Accounted for ART, and · Some of these confounders accounted for · None of these confounders accounted for or unclear
· Accounted for acyclovir, and
· Accounted for CD4/stage of HIV disease
Analysis · Sample size or power calculation done, and · No concerns with analysis · Problems identified with analysis
· No concerns with analysis
Attrition · Minimal attrition (<10%) and · Moderate attrition (10-20%) · High attrition (>20%)
· Attrition explained · Attrition not explained
OVERALL · Most items at low risk of bias, including both HSV-2 ascertainment and confounding · Most items at low to moderate risk of bias · Most items at moderate risk of bias
· Not more than two items at moderate risk of bias · No item at high risk of bias · At least one item at high risk of bias
  1. aFSW = female sex workers; GUD = genital ulcer disease; STI = sexually transmitted infection.