Dr Mags Portman
posted by Rosie Ellingham
on 12th February 2019

It was with great sadness that we heard last week that our colleague and friend, Mags Portman, died from a rare cancer aged 44.


Dr Portman was a trail blazer in HIV prevention and we are extremely privileged to have worked alongside her during her time working at Leeds Centre for Sexual Health. Mags worked with us at Yorkshire MESMAC to set up a full sexual health clinic in local saunas, before going on to lead the change for access the HIV prevention treatment; PrEP.


Tom Doyle, CEO of Yorkshire MESMAC, said “Mags was a great  doctor and an effective, indomitable campaigner. She excelled in both roles with warmth, empathy and passion. Fuelled by endless cups of tea, Mags brought joy into any room she entered. Her patients always spoke extremely highly of her- even when she had to deliver often difficult news. She had that rebellious streak of a working class woman from Yorkshire and that really helped to shake things up, for the better, both locally and nationally. I, the whole MESMAC team and the HIV sector will miss her terribly. Mags’ professional legacy will be the thousands of people who did not contract HIV because of her pioneering work and advocacy’.


Yorkshire MESMAC staff, trustees, volunteers and service users, send our condolences to Mags’ family at this difficult time.