Nicola Jones

Thesis title

The changing nature of stigma: exploring experiences of HIV-related stigma in a post-flood context in Malawi (working title)


HIV-related stigma has been recognised as one of the biggest challenges in managing the epidemic worldwide. It is undermining efforts to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by marginalising ‘key populations’ and increasing their vulnerability to HIV infection, whilst also affecting the lives of those already living with HIV. Roughly one in eight people living with HIV (PLWH) is being denied health services because of stigma and discrimination.

My PhD sets out to explore how HIV-related stigma changes in the event of a disaster and what this means for the capacity of PLWH and ‘key populations’ to access health care and disaster relief aid. My research has been conducted in Lilongwe, Malawi, where significant flooding was experienced for the first time in December 2017. I will use accounts collected through semi-structured interviews to explore experiences of HIV-related stigma and its effects, focusing on how these experiences changed during and following the floods. 


  • Professor Anthony Redmond - (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Insitute - Emeritus Professor of International Emergency Medicine)
  • Dr Gemma Sou - (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Insitute - Lecturer in Disaster Management)
  • Dr Billy Haworth - (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute - Lecturer in Disaster Management)

Research Interests

  • Disaster response
  • Stigma and discrimination

Teaching Interests

  • Global Health
  • Disaster Management

Previous education

  • MA International Disaster Management, The University of Manchester
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Lancaster

Why I’m doing a PhD at HCRI

I have found HCRI to be a unique and exciting academic environment throughout my Masters and the first year of my PhD. The interdisciplinary nature of the institute provides great opportunities to learn from the diverse experiences of leading academics and practitioners in the humanitarian field.

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