Prevalence and impact of occult HBV infection in HIV positive patients is controversial. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of occult HBV infection and its impact on histological and virological parameters. 52 HIV/HCV (but HBsAg-negative) co-infected patients, 29 HBsAg and anti-HCV negative chronic hepatitis, and 20 HBsAg positive chronic hepatitis controls were studied. DNA was extracted from frozen biopsies and amplified with primers for S, C and X regions, and for (ccc) HBV-DNA. Sera were tested for HBV-DNA with two quantitative assays (Cobas Amplicor HBV Monitor, and the real-time COBAS (r) Taqman HBV Test, Roche Diagnostics, UK). Occult HBV infection was detected in 7 (13.4%) liver biopsies of the study group, and in none case of the non viral chronic hepatitis group (p=0.04). All serum samples were HBV-DNA negative with Cobas Amplicor HBV monitor assay, while 3 cases were found positive with real time PCR. Statistical analysis didnt show any impact of occult HBV infection on liver histology, CD4+ cells count, HIV and HCV load, and ALT levels. Occult B infection is relatively frequent in HIV/HCV co-infected patients, and is underestimated by common HBV-DNA serological assays. However, it doesnt seem to exert a relevant impact.