Ford has spent the last twenty five years researching and describing patterns of sex between men, particularly with reference to HIV transmission. Since 1993 he has led the design of the National Gay Men’s Sex Survey and was centrally involved in the European MSM Internet Survey in 2010.
Ford worked at the Terrence Higgins Trust and at Frontliners in the late 1980s. He joined Sigma Research in 1990. Sigma Research joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2011.
Ford's doctoral thesis was on Authority, HIV and Sex between men in England. He has co-authored over 50 peer reviewed journal articles and a book, as well as numerous monographs and book chapters. He holds a Bsc in Psychology and a BA in Opera Studies.
In 1998 he co-authored the national HIV prevention strategy for gay and bisexual men (Making It Count) with a group of community health promoters, which was subsequently adopted by the Department of Health. He has sat on several HIV and MSM related committees, most recently the Office for National Statistics’ Sexual Identity Project Expert Research Group.