Information on, and vaccination of human Papillomavirus (HPV) has been communicated and discussed more and more on social media. The study seeks to explore HPV coverage of one of the most prominent Chinese social networks – Zhihu. Data for the study were user-generated items recognised and collected using a web-based keyword-searching Python crawler. A total of 115 articles covering a period of 2 years from 2017 to 2018 comprise the final sample. Each article was coded for a number of crucial features, including HPV information, the HBM construct, the framing method, and the response to the article.

Results indicated that HPV is associated with cervical cancer. HPV severity, and vaccine advantages were reported in most of the papers. The Zhihu articles more commonly employed thematic framing to discuss HPV issues, and a substantial association between the framing approach and the coverage of material was identified. The study not only extended the literature on online HPV vaccine coverage theoretically, but also proposed that full and detailed knowledge of the HPV vaccine in Chinese social media should be communicated practically.