As many as 171,500 Colombians may be infected with HIV and some 57,000 have AIDS. The findings come from a UN population report on Colombia which includes HIV/AIDS statistics for the first time. The report includes data through the end of 2007 and is posted on the UN's United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) website.

Most of the patients infected with AIDS are young men between the ages of 15 and 35.

Deputy Health Minister Blanca Elvira Cajigas told the Spanish news agency EFE that 1 in 4 AIDS patients are living in Bogota and added that the cities with the highest number of cases are Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Barrranquilla.

Colombia is a rural country where poverty affects 80 percent of the population and the majority of people do not have health insurance. AIDS treatment in the country is estimated to cost $300 per month on average – in a country where 20 percent of the population lives on one dollar a day.

The UNFPA uses population data to support policies and programs that reduce poverty and increase health awareness.