The Australian Red Cross is evaluating their long-standing policy of banning homosexual men from blood donation.

Gay rights groups have backed the review, which is due to begin within 12 months, which could see a chance for homosexual men to donate blood for the first time since 1985.

As of now men who had homosexual sex within a 12 month period are banned from donating blood.

Nicholas McGowan, Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokesman, said the policy was in place because even though samples are tested for HIV and other blood-borne diseases, they were not “foolproof”

“There’s still a window with HIV-AIDS cases that even most sensitive test can’t detect,” Mr McGowan said.

Mr McGowan also stated that the Red Cross would consider new technology and research as part of the review but warned against expectations that would result to relaxing the policy.

“I don’t think that this will stop us from taking this opportunity to talk it all through.” he said.