Charles Geshekter is emeritus professor of African history at California State University, Chico. He was one of the original signatories to the letter establishing the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis. From 2000 to 2003, he was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel.
Geshekter has an M.A. in African History from Howard University and a Ph.D. in History from UCLA. He has held three Fulbright Awards and his African field research was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation and Social Science Research Council. His publications examine European colonialism in Somalia, Somali social history, comparative studies in Somali and Australian livestock trade to the Middle East, Somali maritime history, techniques of documentary film making, and reappraising the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Geshekter helped to establish the Somali Studies International Association in 1978, coordinated its first conference in Mogadishu in 1980, and co-edited the Proceedings of the 1st Congress of Somali Studies (Atlanta, 1992). During the 1992-95 United Nations intervention in Somalia (UNOSOM), Geshekter was news analyst for CBS National Radio Network, KRON-TV/San Francisco, PBS, and numerous radio stations. In 1985, he produced a PBS documentary, "The Parching Winds of Somalia" for WQED-TV (Metropolitan Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting). Portions of the film were included in a McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour special program, "Somalia: Anatomy of a Tragedy" that was nominated for a 1993 Emmy Award. Geshekter was the Program Coordinator for the 1989 Meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science/Pacific Division. From 1991-95, he served as Chairman for its History of Science Section and was a member of its Executive Council. In 1996, he was Chief Policy Advisor on Education Finance for the California State Assembly. He also worked for the Department of Justice as a consultant and researcher regarding African immigration issues.
- "The real threats to African lives are famine, rural poverty, migratory labor systems, urban crowding, the collapse of state structures and the sadistic violence of civil wars. When essential services for water, power or transport break down, public sanitation deteriorates and tuberculosis, dysentery and respiratory infections increase... The best predictors for 'AIDS' anywhere in Africa are economic deprivation, malnutrition, poor sanitation and parasitic infections, not extraordinary sexual behavior or antibodies for a virus that has proved difficult to isolate directly. Journalists should familiarize themselves with the contradictions, anomalies and inconsistencies in the biomedical dogma about HIV/AIDS. Once they consider the non-contagious explanations for 'AIDS' cases in Africa, they can stop the relentless proliferation of terrifying misinformation that equates sexuality with death." (Geshekter 1998)
- The Epidemic of African AIDS Hysteria (1998)
- A Critical Reappraisal of African AIDS Research and Western Sexual Stereotypes (1999)
- The Plague That Isn't (2000)
- East African Doctors: A History of the Modern Profession (review), Africa Today, Winter 2000
- Aids: Anomalies and Contradictions, New African, 19 March 2003