The prevalence and epidemiological traits of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in high-risk populations (HRPs) remained unclarified in Japan. We determined the prevalence of HIV, HBV and Treponema pallidum (TP) and the viral genotypes in HRPs who attended primary sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics in Osaka province during 2006–2011. Of 7898 specimens, 133 (1·7%) were HIV positive, which was significantly higher than the figures reported by Japanese Red Cross (0·0019%) and public health centres (0·27%) in Japan. The frequency of HIV-1 subtype B was 88·7%, followed by CRF01_AE (2·3%) and C (0·8%), which were almost identical to the national trend. HBV seroprevalence was surprisingly high in the HIV-positive group (63·2%), which was significantly higher than that in the HIV-negative group (25·6%). By contrast, there was no statistical correlation between HIV and TP infection. Interestingly, the distinct HBV genotypes Ae and G were prevalent in the HIV-positive population (60·0% and 20·0%, respectively), although both were rarely detected during nationwide surveillance. The transmission of HIV and HBV appeared to occur largely within a closed community early in life. Of note, about one-quarter of HIV-positive cases would have remained untested if health professionals had not motivated individuals to undergo HIV testing. This is the first evidence-based assessment of HIV positivity and HIV/HBV co-infection in HRPs at primary STIs in Japan and the effect of the involvement of health professionals in the diagnosis of HIV infections in asymptomatic carriers. The genotyping of HBV provided valuable information for understanding HIV epidemical traits.