Table 1

Descriptive characteristics of included studies and participants

StudyStudy designWorld region
Study populationNo. of participantsMean or median ageSyphilis prevalence (baseline)Syphilis confirm testLength of time between tests for HIV (1≤6 months or 2>6)Follow-up rateHIV acquisitionNOS*
 Desai et al 14 Cohort studyEurope (UK)MSM9309341.9NR1NR2.007
 van Griensven et al 15 Cohort studyAsia (Thailand)MSM3750264.7RPR & IC176.1%5.907
 Riedner et al 26 Cohort studyAfrica (Tanzania)Other high-risk groups
(female bar workers)
3602517.5RPR & TPPA174.5%NR6
 Jin et al 16 Cohort studyOceania (Australia)MSM5084352.9RPR & TTs281.0%0.786
 Ferrer et al 17 Cohort studyEurope (Spain)MSM2876330.6RPR & TPPA263.4%2.406
 Lee and Ho27 Case-control studyAsia
(China-Hong Kong)
Other high-risk groups
(STD clinic attendees)
 Beymer et al 18 Case-control studyAmerica (USA)MSM15 107321.1RPR288.3%2.186
 Beymer et al 19 Cohort studyAmerica (USA)MSM2593NR1.5RPR188.1%5.406
 Mehta et al 28 Cohort studyAmerica (USA)Other high-risk groups
(STD clinic attendees)
13 693252.8NTT & TT1NR0.916
 Guy et al 20 Cohort studyOceania (Australia)MSM4488322.0NR2NR1.248
 Ruzagira et al 29 Cohort studyAfrica (Uganda)Other high-risk groups
(HIV discordant couples)
787365.2RPR & TPHA
 Su et al 30 Cohort studyAsia (China)Other high-risk groups
(female sex workers)
3106277.4RPR & TPPA1NR1.068
 Xu et al 22 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM313285.8RPR & TPPA170.1%3.507
 Xu et al 23 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM1222725.4RPR & TPPA156.0%5.407
 Yang et al 24 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM286NR12.6RPR & TPPA172.0%5.125
 Yang et al 25 Case-control studyAsia (China)MSM3032812.2TRUSTNRNRNR6
 Li et al 31 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM4252616.9RPR & TPPA186.2%2.607
 Li et al 32 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM5932816.4RPR & TPPA186.8%8.098
 Braunstein et al 35 Cohort studyAfrica (Rwanda)Other high-risk groups
(female sex workers)
373247.3RPR & TPPA185.0%5.608
 Tang et al 33 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM359NR12.6RPR & TPPA151.2%3.606
 Wang et al 34 Cohort studyAsia (China)MSM5573630.9TRUST & TPPA
  • IC, immunochromatography; MSM, men who have sex with men; NOS, Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (for assessing the quality of non-randomised studies in meta-analyses); NR, not reported; NTT, non-treponemal test; RPR, rapid plasma regain; TPHA, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay; TPPA, T. pallidum passive particle agglutination; TRUST, toluidine red unheated serum test; TT, treponemal test.