We performed a retrospective study to analyse the characteristics and clinical outcomes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and compare with those without HBV infection. The occurrence of hepatitis after withdrawal of prophylactic antiviral treatment on completion of chemotherapy was also assessed. The HBsAg-positive patients were given prophylactic antiviral treatment until 6 months after finishing chemotherapy. A total of 81 patients were recruited with 16 in the HBsAg-positive group and 65 in the HBsAg-negative group. The clinical characteristics were similar in both groups of patients. There was no significant difference in complete remission rate between the two groups (63% in HBsAg-positive group vs. 54% in HBsAg-negative group, P = 0.59). There was also no statistically significant difference in overall survival between the two groups (P = 0.23). Four of the 16 HBsAg-positive patients (25%) had hepatitis after cessation of chemotherapy and prophylactic lamivudine. The mean time of onset of hepatitis was 3 months after stopping lamivudine. In conclusion, HBV infection did not appear to affect the prognosis of DLBCL patients given antiviral prophylaxis. It is reasonable to consider prophylactic antiviral therapy to extend to at least one year on completion of chemotherapy.