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Remembering Dr Mags Portman – an exceptional, talented, passionate, committed sexual health physician

12 February 2019

Dr Mags Portman, a Sexual Health and HIV Consultant at CNWL, has sadly passed away from cancer at the age of 44.

Buzzfeed issued a tribute to Dr Portman today which is available to read online

Staff at the Trust’s Mortimer Market Centre where Dr Portman was based share their tributes

Dr Laura Waters, Lead Clinician for HIV, said:

“Mags was an exceptional, talented, passionate, committed and hugely knowledgeable sexual health physician and powerful advocate for good sexual health. Her tireless work with the community and specialty organisations in campaigning for fair access to HIV prevention, particularly HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, was inspirational. Mags was a hugely popular member of the CNWL team – she touched so many with her kindness, humour and approachability and her loss will be felt by us, and many in the field of sexual health and HIV, for years to come.”

Dr Simon Edwards, CNWL’s Divisional Medical Director, said:

“Mags was a truly inspirational doctor who was very much loved and admired by colleagues, patients and the wider community. She not only provided exceptional clinical care and leadership within our service but her energy, passion and motivation spilled over to effectively champion important public health initiatives and challenge stigma around HIV prevention. She will be sadly missed.”

Dr Mags Portman, during HIV Test Week

Dr Mags Portman, during HIV Test Week

Dr Portman joined CNWL in September 2015. Shortly after joining the Trust, Dr Portman gained agreement from CNWL and support from clinic staff to provide HIV, STI testing and renal monitoring for people accessing PrEP online. Although PrEP is not currently available on the NHS Dr Portman pushed for the provision of the national PrEP Guide and was a member of the BASHH/BHIVA PrEP guidelines writing committee working closely with iwantprepnow.co.uk and PrEPster.info.

At that time Dr Portman, said: “We are aware that people at risk of HIV are accessing PrEP in different ways, including obtaining generic (non-brand) versions cheaply online. We cannot fully endorse this, because drugs bought online may not have gone through the same safety processes as generic drugs used for other conditions on the NHS but at Mortimer Market we believe that we have a responsibility towards people who are buying PrEP online, to keep them as safe as possible and are happy to see people who need PrEP monitoring.”

Dr Eva Jungmann, CNWL’s Clinical Lead for Integrated Sexual Health, said:

“Mags was one of the nicest, most compassionate and genuine doctors I have ever worked with. Her easy manner, boundless energy and infectious laugh made her hugely popular with staff and patients alike. We miss her terribly.”

Our thoughts are with her husband Martin and their children, Edward, and Freddie.