Whether the exceptionally low prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection reported among Malays is also present among aborigines (the Orang Asli) living in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia is unknown. We studied asymptomatic Orang Asli from settlements situated 210 km from the city of Kota Bharu. The HP infection status was confirmed by a validated serology test. Nineteen percent of 480 Orang Asli tested positive for HP infection. The prevalence was 40.6% in the birth cohort of the 1940s and declined steadily in later cohorts to under 10% among 12-30 year olds. This may be related to the phases of relocation from the jungles into resettlement camps and ultimately into designated villages near rivers. The low prevalence pattern after the 1970s was probably partly a result of improvement in sanitation and hygiene practice in these villages but other unidentified factors may also be operating.