This study was conducted to provide information on the genetic diversity of human parvovirus B19 (B19V) circulating in the municipality of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Southeast Brazil during 1996-2006, a period with two distinct outbreaks of B19V infection: 1999-2000 and 2004-2005. A total of 27 sera from patients with erythema infectiosum (EI) and five sera from HIV-infected patients that tested positive for B19V DNA during the study period were analyzed. To genotype B19V strains, a semi-nested PCR for partial amplification of the capsid gene was performed and sequence analysis revealed that 31 sequences belonged to subgenotype 1a (G1a) of the main genotype 1 and one sequence was characterized as subgenotype 3b (G3b). The phylogenetic tree supported the division of the G1a into two well-defined clades with 1.3% of divergence. The low diversity of the G1a strains may be explained by the fact that all patients had acute B19V infection and 30/32 sera were collected during two distinct outbreaks. The G3b strain was from an HIV-infected patient who seroconverted to anti-B19 IgG antibodies in September/2005. This is the first report of G3b in the state of Rio de Janeiro.