Higher Ground, a space of community for people who are HIV positive and people who are affected by the virus, is located in Greensboro, N.C. Mark Cassity is the director of this welcoming safe haven for people who are HIV-positive.
"The house is black and white, gay and straight, and rich and poor and old and young it just really crosses all the lines," Cassity said.
Bill, who wishes to keep his last name anonymous, frequently visits Higher Ground. Bill is not only HIV-positive; he has Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and had his leg amputated due to the strong HIV-medications he took in the early stages of his disease.
"Some people say,'how do you stay so happy?'" Bill said. "It's just natural and I actually feel good most of the times."
Bill was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. He had his leg amputated five years ago due to the strong HIV medications he took in the early stages of his disease. Bill had one goal once he received his prosthetic leg.
"To get back to yard work! One-legged yard work," Bill said.
Despite the diseases that Bill has, he continues to maintain a positive attitude for himself and his friends at Higher Ground.
"We are living with it, we're not dying with it," Bill said.
But living with HIV has not always been such a common thing.
"I've been to at least 8 or 10 funerals in matters of just a few months from HIV in the early days," Bill said.
After seeing many of his friends die from the disease, Bill says that he feels lucky to have lived so long with HIV. The community at Higher Ground has helped him to realize how lucky he really is.
"We are just like family actually we are willing to help each other do anything we can for each other," Bill said.
Bill continues to stay positive by relying on his friends at Higher Ground and, of course, through his favorite hobby: yard work.