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Table of Contents: February 2011

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Systematic reviews (overviews of health care interventions that use predefined methods to find and appraise all the relevant evidence) are generally thought to provide reliable evidence for decision-making in clinical practice, if carefully carried out and transparently reported. However, there is potential for bias in the conduct and reporting of systematic reviews through nonpublication of "negative" outcomes. Given this potential for bias, PLoS Medicine announces its support for prospective registration of systematic reviews during the planning stage. PLoS Medicine will now ask authors who submit reports of systematic reviews whether they registered their study and to provide a copy of the systematic review protocol if available. The Editors hope these steps will encourage and enable more transparent reporting of systematic reviews.

Editorial

Policy Forums

A Surprising Prevention Success: Why Did the HIV Epidemic Decline in Zimbabwe?

Daniel T. Halperin, Owen Mugurungi, Timothy B. Hallett, Backson Muchini, Bruce Campbell, Tapuwa Magure, Clemens Benedikt, Simon Gregson

Dengue Vaccines Regulatory Pathways: A Report on Two Meetings with Regulators of Developing Countries

Richard Mahoney, Liliana Chocarro, James Southern, Donald P. Francis, John Vose, Harold Margolis

Registering New Drugs for Low-Income Countries: The African Challenge

Mary Moran, Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, Javier Guzman, Pascale Boulet, Lindsey Wu, Bernard Pecoul

Research Articles

Violent Deaths of Iraqi Civilians, 2003–2008: Analysis by Perpetrator, Weapon, Time, and Location

Madelyn Hsiao-Rei Hicks, Hamit Dardagan, Gabriela Guerrero Serdán, Peter M. Bagnall, John A. Sloboda, Michael Spagat

Intravaginal Practices, Bacterial Vaginosis, and HIV Infection in Women: Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis

Nicola Low, Matthew F. Chersich, Kurt Schmidlin, Matthias Egger, Suzanna C. Francis, Janneke H. H. M. van de Wijgert, Richard J. Hayes, Jared M. Baeten, Joelle Brown, Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Rupert Kaul, Nuala McGrath, Charles Morrison, Landon Myer, Marleen Temmerman, Ariane van der Straten, Deborah Watson-Jones, Marcel Zwahlen, Adriane Martin Hilber

A Randomised Controlled Trial of Ion-Exchange Water Softeners for the Treatment of Eczema in Children

Kim S. Thomas, Tara Dean, Caroline O'Leary, Tracey H. Sach, Karin Koller, Anthony Frost, Hywel C. Williams , the SWET Trial Team

Health Behaviours, Socioeconomic Status, and Mortality: Further Analyses of the British Whitehall II and the French GAZEL Prospective Cohorts

Silvia Stringhini, Aline Dugravot, Martin Shipley, Marcel Goldberg, Marie Zins, Mika Kivimäki, Michael Marmot, Séverine Sabia, Archana Singh-Manoux

Health and Human Rights in Chin State, Western Burma: A Population-Based Assessment Using Multistaged Household Cluster Sampling

Richard Sollom, Adam K. Richards, Parveen Parmar, Luke C. Mullany, Salai Bawi Lian, Vincent Iacopino, Chris Beyrer